Everyone can write—but not everyone can produce good quality writing. There are plenty of books, sites, and ‘gurus’ who sell courses and books filled with ‘secret recipes’ and ‘formulas for success,’ as if becoming a good writer could happen overnight.
But the truth is, producing high-quality content takes work! It does not matter if you have been writing for decades or just started. There is no “shortcut.” There is, however, ways and methods that can help you become a better writer.
Below 15 useful tips that can help you catapult your writing career:
- Read like it is your job!
The best writers are also avid readers. Why? Simple. The most effective way to make your writing more enticing is to read. Reading regularly will help you develop an eye for what works and what mistakes to avoid.
- Expand your horizons
Get out of your comfort zone — this applies to your reading choices as well as your writing. Do not stick to a particular theme or format (e.g., blog posts or novels.) Diversify your reading material and pay close attention to structure, wording, and tone.
- Practice, practice, practice
As cliché as it may sound, practice makes perfect. So, develop a daily routine and force yourself to write —even if you do not feel like doing it. Challenge yourself with every day that passes and allow yourself room to grow.
- Explore different writing techniques
Explore every writing technique there is! There is plenty of forms to choose from, including expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative writing. Start with the one you feel less comfortable with, and switch to a different method every week.
- Imitate writers you like and admire
But no means are I am suggesting that you should copy someone else’s work. Please note that imitation is not the same as plagiarism. Thus, identify what it is that attracted you to their content in the first place. Try to imitate their style and see where it takes you!
- Write about things you love
Writing about topics that you are passionate about can help you ‘sound’ honest and will resonate better with your audience. Plus, ideas will come to you naturally, allowing your content to flow smoothly.
Readers can tell when you are writing for the sake of writing and when you are writing from the heart. Thus, especially when starting, try always to pick topics that appeal to you — even if it means turning down good money.
- Find your voice
If you want to be a good writer, you first need to find your voice. Practicing, imitating other authors, reading, and all the other tips we mentioned before can help you do so. Once you have developed a style, writing will come easier.
- Start small
Do not run before you can walk. Start by crafting small pieces such as press releases, short stories, or copy for a product. Once you feel like you have mastered the ‘small’ things, move on to more complex pieces such as pillar articles, novels, movie scripts.
- Use outlines
Having an outline of what you want to write about can go a long way. It not only keeps your efficient; but, also allow you to organize your ideas better to avoid unnecessary jabber. Think of your outline as a ‘cheat sheet’ or roadmap to achieve your goal. It does not need to be complicated or too detailed. A simple framework with keywords and sections will suffix.
- Do not ramble!
Rambling is a writer’s worst enemy. When you let your writing ramble, you risk losing the reader. Keep in mind that the average attention span of a regular adult is less than 2 minutes. So, if your message is not clear in the first few sentences, the reader may not even finish the thought.
- Create a blog
Developing a blog can help you launch a career as they are an inexpensive way of showcasing/publishing your work. But, having a blog can also help you improve your writing skills considerably. It obliges you to create content to ‘feed’ your page, making you write with the hopes of developing an audience.
- Learn more words
Words s are a writer’s most powerful tool. The more words you know, the richer your work will be. Think of words as crayons. As an artist, you can paint brighter, more engaging, and exciting paintings if you are using more than three colors. The same goes for words. If you are always using the same adjectives and verbs, your writing will become dull and uninteresting.
- Done is better than perfect!
It may seem odd at first, but try to write as much as you can. Even if you feel like what you are doing is not right or makes no sense, write it down. It is easier to edit than to try to come up with new ideas every time you choose to delete a page. With time, a blank page will not feel as intimidating as it is now. Thus, trust your instinct and write down whatever comes to mind. Eventually, that text will take form.
- Share your work with other writers
Being a writer is like being part of a numerous family. There is always someone ready to give their opinion. And although it may sometimes feel like criticism, hearing what other colleagues have to say about your work can be immensely helpful. Showing your work to other writers (especially if they have been writing for a long time) can help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Are you taking too long to develop the characters in your story? Is your message unclear? Does the reader lose interest quickly? These and more questions can be answered with the help of your colleagues.
- Be patient
Last but not least, remember everything takes time. Like we said before, no one becomes a best-selling author overnight. Conquering the art of writing takes time.
So, if you want to be successful, the best advice I can give you is to be patient and put in the time!