If you’ve committed to calling yourself a writer, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to become even better at your craft. Any successful wordsmith will tell you that if you just sit around and wait for inspiration to strike, you likely won’t end up writing much if anything at all.
Like most things in life though, there are simple and deliberate actions you can take every day to help you achieve your goals and ultimately become the writer you were meant to be. Let’s take a look at a few straightforward things you can do to become a better writer.
Read and write every day
Even if writing isn’t your full-time gig (yet), it is good to get in the habit of establishing a daily writing practice. Sitting down for a few hours once a week isn’t going to cut it, and even if you think that’s all the time you have—it is likely a matter of reassessing your priorities. In addition to making time most days to sit down and write, you should also try to incorporate reading into the mix. Frequent focused reading will do more for your writing than just about anything else and assuming it is something you enjoy doing anyway, there’s really no excuse to skimp.
Cut the fillers and avoid buzzy language
When it comes to editing the words on the page, you best learn to edit scrupulously. What’s one of the easiest things you can do to improve your work instantly? Eliminate all those buzzwords and filler phrases. With the sometimes exception of dialogue, they end up adding little and will alert your reader’s amateur radar without fail.
Use a writing template
There are so many great writing resources available online, and you’re really doing yourself a disservice by deciding to go at it alone. Especially if you’re early in your career, a writing template can be an invaluable resource when it comes to providing structure and flow to your work. If you love writing scenes and characters but have trouble fitting them all together, a template will provide guidance, coherence, and might even help you avoid tearing your hair out.
Read your work out loud
If this sounds silly to you, you’re in for a revelation. Reading your work out loud is one of the best ways to quickly assess the tone, flow, and overall quality of your work. Can’t stand the sound of your own voice? Use the “Read Aloud” tool in Microsoft Word’s Review tab and prepare to have your editing process forever changed.
Don’t be shy about asking for feedback
Remember that your peers in the writing community are one of the most valuable resources at your disposal. Develop a group of other writers you trust and regularly provide feedback to one another. There is nothing quite as effective as another set of eyes to help you identify the problem that’s been right under your nose the whole time.
Ready to feedback?
Send us the first three chapters and we’ll let you know where we think you’re at — is it ready for the world or does it need more work? Let us help you figure out the next steps.