Tips for Becoming a Better Writer
I think it’s pretty funny when people complain about their writing skills as though they can’t be improved upon. If you’re bemoaning the fact that you aren’t a naturally gifted scribe, becoming a better writer is still well within your grasp.
You might not be able to start winning Pulitzers or cranking out novels right away, but you can certainly learn more words, refine your sentence structure and finally figure out how to properly use a semicolon. These are all mainstays of how to become better at writing.
How to Become a Better Writer
The truth is, there are lots of different writing techniques to use to help you to become a better writer. The key is to try a lot of these tips and see what works for you. Then, you can put your own spin on them and customize the implementation to help improve your unique writing style. Here are some steps you can try to improve your writing skills and fulfill your dream of becoming a better writer:
1. Write About Everything
This analogy is massively overused, and I’m already disappointed in myself for repeating it, but think about your writing skills as a muscle. If you go to the gym and do only forearm exercises, you’ll end up looking strange and Popeye-ish. Similarly, if you write about only one topic, you’re not going to experience much growth. By branching out and working on topics outside your wheelhouse, you’ll force yourself to acquire new skills and expand your vocabulary.
Write about cars, medicine and travel, or work on a short story in which Batman teaches a bunch of pre-WWI Serbian Nationalists how to promote themselves on social media. Any topic is fair game and can help you build your writing repertoire and improve your writing skills.
2. Read Everything
If writing skills are a muscle, then books are the writer’s gym. Literature provides everything you need to develop stronger storytelling, create dynamic characters, learn to spell and improve grammar. There’s a direct correlation between reading avidly and becoming a better writer. You really can’t expect to create a brilliant work of historical Batman fiction if you never read books in that genre.
If you’re of the mindset that reading too much might sully your originality or creativity, you should get over that ASAP. Absorbing other people’s writing should teach and inspire you, and analyzing concepts found in various literary pieces will only help you to further develop your own ideas and improve your writing process.
3. Branch Out and Try Different Types of Content Writing
If you only ever write short stories, how will you know if you could’ve written a novel? Or, if you only ever write blogs, how will you ever know if your true passion was to write product copy for super cool products that you then end up going out and buying yourself because you were so convincing? In the same vein as writing about different topics, try writing different content types to help you become a better writer!
There’s so much variety in the world of online content writing. It would be a shame to not try your hand at an ebook, white paper, press release or social media post. Sometimes just changing up the purpose, format and target audience for your content can help you to develop writing skills you didn’t even know you had.
4. Never Stop Writing
If you’re serious about becoming a better writer, you’ll happily write even when no one is asking you to. From time to time, I’ll just sit down and start writing to see what kind of nonsense I come up with. I’m only half-ashamed to admit that occasionally I’ll look around the room and pick five or six different objects, then try to cleverly fit those words into a one-page story. If you put some thought into it, you can end up with a creative work of fiction.
If nothing else, you’ll come away with a mediocre tale about the time Count Bookshelf and Lord Paperweight overcame their differences and saved the people of Humidifier.
Becoming a Better Writer is Possible
Becoming a better writer doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s absolutely a feat that can be accomplished by anyone willing to make the effort. If you have any advice you’d like to give other writers who are looking to improve their writing skills and become a better writer, please share in the comments!