By Beth K. Vogt

Early on in my writing career, a mentor challenged me to be a writer who always “upped her game.” However, I realized if I wanted to see real progress I needed to move past a vague idea of how I wanted to improve as a writer and I needed to be specific. To ensure I upped my game with every novel I wrote, I chose a different area of craft to focus on.

One time I concentrated on stronger dialogue. Another time, it was layering in emotion. After that, I chose to work on symbolism and metaphors. I wrote down the specific goal and shared it with my mentors, asking for their tips. I also read craft books about the specific topics, and, if I could, I’d take a workshop on the subject. Anything to help me improve. Accepting the challenge to grow as a writer was one thing—determining the “how” of making it happen made all the difference in seeing my writing skills improve.


Beth K. Vogt is a national speaker as well as a mentor to writers and the author of nine contemporary novels/novellas. Her novel Somebody Like You was one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. Beth started as a nonfiction author who said she’d never write fiction. Her first women’s novel, Things I Never Told You, was released by Tyndale House in May 2018. Moments We Forget, Book Two in the Thatcher Sisters series, released in May 2019. Beth also blogs for Novel Academy and The Write Conversation. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who also writes fiction. Connect with Beth at

Beth will keynote and teach workshops at the upcoming Fall One-Day Conference October 12, 2019, at Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin (Portland metro).