The Top 5 Ways to Grow As a Writer
Caffeinate. Write. Check social media. Write more of the same. Sleep. Repeat. It’s easy to get into a routine, churning out assignment after assignment for the same client, the same topics, or the same type of content. We all have our niches, and there is comfort in finding your rhythm as a writer. But how do you grow as a writer when you’re doing the same things day in and day out?
There is also a fine line between a routine and a rut. If you don’t take on different writing projects, you can’t grow as a writer. You also run the risk of burning out. Still, change is sometimes nerve-wracking—especially when there’s a learning curve.
How to Grow As a Writer
Here are a couple of ways to overcome the trepidation and difficulty involved with writing new content and become a better writer as a result.
1. Keep an Open Mind
Your attitude largely shapes your ability to learn something new. Don’t automatically assume that because you don’t know anything about a subject (Cars? Motorcycles? Insurance?), you can’t write the assignment intelligently. One of the best things about being a content writer is that you get paid to learn new things.
Similarly, don’t let a lengthy client style guide deter you from taking a writing assignment. Sometimes highly structured or formulaic assignments are easier to write than those that require a lot of creativity. Being able to change your mindset and follow different style guides is one of the keys to becoming a better writer.
2. Try Again
Practice makes perfect. To be able to truly learn something, repetition is required. Sure, a new writing assignment may take you longer than you expected, but you’re likely to remember the guidelines better the next time you accept similar work from a client. Before long you’ll be a master of yet another project or niche.
This is also true when it comes to trying a new type of content writing. Just because you didn’t nail the product copy on your first product description doesn’t mean you don’t have a knack for it. Give yourself some time to grow into new writing projects and don’t give up before you’ve really given it a chance.
3. Ask for Feedback
You won’t always receive feedback when creating SEO content, but don’t be afraid to seek clarification when needed. Doing so is better than making a mistake.
But what if you do make a mistake. Don’t worry! We all err sometimes (some of us more than others!), so keep your head held high. What matters most is that you apply the feedback given and learn from the experience; that’s one of the quickest ways to learn how to grow as a writer.
Feedback is also most helpful when it comes from experienced editors. Try working on projects with stringent editors to really maximize your growth as a writer. It’s never easy to hear what you’ve done wrong, but it’s also the quickest way to improve your writing skills in the long run.
4. Bookmark Writing Resources
Did you discover a killer resource that made a certain writing assignment easier? Be sure to bookmark it for future use. If it’s something that you think other writers will find helpful, share it! Professional writers are always excited for news ways to make work easier.
If you’re writing a new project for a client, don’t be afraid to also ask them if they have any resource wells that they know about. Sometimes just asking someone in the industry where to find information can save you a ton of time. A lot of times, becoming a better writer starts with asking the right questions.
5. Don’t Stop Writing
The learning process should never end. Don’t stop accepting different writing assignments because you discover a type of content that comes naturally to you. With more variety in your writing repertoire comes more opportunities. And more opportunities mean more income.
As in anything else, the more you can expand your skills the more diverse your writing portfolio becomes. Becoming a better writer is important both in what you do well, but also in the breadth of things you can do. If you have the ability to write both blog posts as well as product copy, you increase your ability to pick up more lucrative writing projects.
Not only that, you grow as a writer as you challenge yourself to do something you wouldn’t normally do. For instance, trying to write an ebook or white paper on a complicated subject might be just the thing you need to get you out of your latest blog writing rut.
Also, don’t get discouraged from negative feedback or from self-doubt. For instance, many young writers realize they aren’t as fast at writing as they thought they would be. That’s normal! The speed comes with experience. Don’t give up just because you don’t initially meet your own expectations. Becoming a better writer is the long play; anything worth doing usually takes some time to master.
Growth As a Writer Comes Word by Word
If you want to learn how to grow as a writer, you have to step out of your comfort zone and work on projects that may intimidate you. Becoming a better writer isn’t always easy, but it is worth it. As you work toward overcoming your fears, I can guarantee you that you’ll never regret it.