There’s more to writing than pushing a pen across a piece of paper, and there’s more to being a writer than having written.
These days, everyone’s a writer. We write emails, text messages, and lists. A free blog is just a few clicks away. Self-publishing has drawn tens of thousands of dreamers who have scrawled stories and uploaded them to the web for all to read.
Everyone’s a writer, including you.
But how do you differentiate yourself? How do you stand out from the crowd? How do you make your words and ideas resonate with a reading audience?
Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
There’s more to becoming a better writer than improving your writing, although that’s certainly part of it. Here are a few ways you can become a better writer:
1. Make the commitment: Sometimes the difference between a working writer and a would-be author is as simple as making a commitment to writing (and then sticking with it).
2. Do the work: Write as often as you can, every day if possible. Spend more time writing than talking about writing or thinking about writing.
3. Engage with other writers: They will keep your fire burning, and they can help you with your writing. Find a writing buddy or group of writers and swap critiques.
4. Study the craft: There’s always more to learn. Writing is a complex and intricate field. I don’t think anyone can learn it all in one lifetime, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying!
5. Read: The single best way to become a better writer is to simply read.
6. Know the industry: If you plan on being a professional writer, you should familiarize yourself with the business side of things. Become knowledgeable about submitting your work, publishing, and marketing.
7. Be diligent: Rewrite, edit, proof, repeat. Nobody wants to read your rough drafts, including agents, editors, and fellow writers who are critiquing your work or helping you with proofreading and editing.
8. Build a platform: Thanks to the Internet, it is cheaper and easier to build a platform today than ever before. Learn how to market yourself: find your readers, connect with them, and sell your books.
9. Know your audience: I like to think of a reading audience as a group of people connected by a common interest or passion. Who are your readers?
10. Be yourself: Don’t write what’s hot, write what’s in your heart.
How much effort do you invest in improving your writing? Do you take steps every day to become a better writer? What steps have you taken to develop your craft and grow as a writer? Do you have any tips to add to this list? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing!