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Become a Better Writer

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Want to know what you can do to become a better writer? Read these tips to improve your writing quality and habits. There are no easy tricks to becoming a better writer, but these tips helped me to face my fears and establish good habits in order to become a better writer.

Start

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” – Stephen King, On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

Trust me, I know it is hard. Those thoughts race through your head. “What if people don’t like my writing?” “What if I am actually really bad at this?” “The way I overcame my fears and just started writing was that I decided two things.

  1. I am writing for myself. – I feel better when I write. Writing helps me work through things in my mind.
  2. I am writing to help others. – If just one person is encouraged because of my writing, then I have succeeded.

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous… or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” – Stephen King, On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

Read

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” – Stephen King, On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

By reading examples of great writing, you are learning through example and providing yourself with inspiration. Besides, it’s fun to read. If you don’t think it is fun to read, you just haven’t picked up the right book. Each one of these books was easy to read and engaging.

Some of my favorites are:

 

Take Time

The Kitchen Timer, a variation of the Pomodoro Technique, and written by Don Ross, encourages writers to schedule a certain amount of time to write and stick to it. This does not necessarily mean writing on a project; even writing in a journal counts. (For the detailed outline, read Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between).)

Write

“If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and write a lot. There is no way around these two things that I am aware of, no shortcut. ” – Stephen King, On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

I have committed this year to write every day. It doesn’t matter what I write, where I write it, or even how long I take to write. I have just focused on the habit of writing daily. This has made it less overwhelming for me than other techniques. I started out spending five minutes a day writing, and, now, I spend at least an hour a day writing. Writing is a muscle that takes time and effort to tone, but it is well worth it.

Edit

Let your writing sit. I don’t know if you are like me, but, once I have finished a piece, I am just itching to publish it. Refrain. Come back to it. You will see things you can fix to make it even better.

Have others look at it. My editors are my friends and my family. Be careful though, don’t go to people who will just tell you that your writing is wonderful. You know the ones. I can’t have my mother edit my work for this very reason. Don’t get me wrong, you will need that kind of person, but their reviews will not be helpful in your quest to become a better writer.

Write in Community

“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.” – Stephen King, On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

You build your own writing community. My family and friends encourage me to write and give me honest critiques. I also seek support from my blogging communities. Plus, I have a wonderful bonus of having marvelous readers who encourage me. Thank you!

Which of these tips did you find most helpful? How do you plan to become a better writer?

Found this helpful? Share this to encourage other writers.

4 Comments

    • Elizabeth

      I grew a creative community through talking with some women at church. We found that we had a common desire to keep each accountable to pursue our projects and finish them. I also found people in my life who were both interested in writing and had valuable contributions to make to the editing of it, either in content or in the technical aspects of writing. Because I am the type of person who shares what she is thinking/writing with colleagues, friends, and family, I was able to find my people relatively easily. If you don’t feel as comfortable talking about your writing, (I certainly didn’t feel comfortable at first.), perhaps you could find these people through casually talking about your writing and seeing who is interested. Who knows? They might even share that they are writing too.

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