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. Improvement comes with practice!
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!