How to Become a Better Writer in 15 Steps

Posted: April 28, 2017 in "How To" Guides

Writing is one of the best ways to express yourself. Being able to write and being a good writer, though, are two different stories. A good writer can express himself clearly, while an average writer has just enough of what it takes to write. A good writer is a flexible writer, while an average writer is not.

Becoming a good writer takes a lot of skills. Here are some tips you can use to develop your writing ability.

  1. Develop the habit of writing

If you want to become a good writer, write as much as you can every day. Your natural talent will just come out. This is one way of discovering what kind of topic are you really interested in.

  1. Read aloud what you have written

When you are a writer, you will most probably go to a place with the least distractions before you start writing. This is a good practice because this gives you the chance to read aloud what you have written. Doing so will make you catch irregularities in your writing.

      3. Read a lot

If you want to write poetry, read a lot of poetry books. This will give you chance to familiarize the genre more. If you want adventure, surround yourself with books telling you about adventure itself. Doing this will broaden your vocabulary regarding that kind of topic.

  1. Always use an active voice when writing

Writing in an active voice makes your sentences easy to read and understand. It also makes the sentence less wordy.

Here is an example:

Active voice – He drives the car.

Passive voice – The car is driven by him.

  1. Join or form a writing group

Find a group who shares the same interest as you. This will work to your advantage because you can learn a lot of things from different people within that group. If you cannot find one near you, create one. One way to start this is by going to a certain place frequented by a lot of people (e.g. park). Obviously let the people around you see what you are interested in. Be friendly. A person who shares the same interest with you will not hesitate to make you company. This simple gesture will gather moss in no time.

  1. Don’t write because you just feel like writing; write because you want to become a good writer

This is not an easy one. Many writers will just write because they feel that they are motivated to write at the time. What if there is no motivation coming your way in the next fifteen years? Practice is the very key to fulfilling your dream of becoming a good writer. You should always have something to write.

  1. Create an outline

Many writers would say that making an outline is just for sissies. It is not. Making an outline helps you in not forgetting everything you are planning to write. Keeping what we have in mind inside our mind (pun intended) is not an effective way of keeping it ideas. When we write, we just focus on what we are actually writing at the moment. It is not uncommon that we could lose track of what’s inside our mind before we even have the chance to write it down. An outline is no more than just a “to-do” list. Why not do it?

  1. Look into the different writing styles

Sticking with just one writing style will make you sound monotonous. You are also holding back yourself from becoming flexible. Trying different writing styles will not hurt your own writing style, by the way. This will help you sound natural in every writing style in the long run.

  1. Don’t be afraid to emulate

Many great writers from the past did not become who they were if it weren’t for the many great writers before them whom they admire. There were even some who took on the apprenticeship status before they were able to write for themselves. Choose a mentor then read a lot about that person.

  1. Write and rewrite

Becoming a good writer isn’t just about writing a short article or two then jump into another article as if what you have written is already the best version of that topic. Make it a practice to write and rewrite what you have done. You will be surprised to discover that you can still make a better version of you literally.

  1. Unwind then review

This again may sound weird. But good writers really know about this. Sometimes our mind tricks us by letting our eyes skip details that it perceives as unpleasant, especially if we are on a tight schedule. Even if we are trapped in this situation, give our mind time to relax. The best way to do this is to get away from your work area and find a relaxing place nearby. You can also grab your headphones and listen to your most favorite tune. When you feel relaxed already, give what you have written another pass. A relaxed mind is more likely to catch errors than in a frenzied one.

  1. Create an idea pool

A good writing topic may pop out any time. This might be your next masterpiece. Write this down. Take a sticky note, a piece of scratch paper, or whatever writing material you can take with you wherever you may go. Write anything that interests you at that time. You may find them useful in the near future.

  1. Find a reliable critique

It is a fact that we always have a self-serving bias. Reading what we have written will always result to us giving it more credit than what it really deserves. The best thing to do to eliminate this thing if to find someone who is not afraid to say what is on his mind. Don’t hesitate to do this because you are not writing for yourself, anyway.

  1. Express yourself clearly

A good writer knows how to convey his ideas in a way that even a grade school student can understand what he is saying. Do it every time you write.

  1. Be brief

If you can express your idea in just three words, do it. Don’t say “I have this feeling inside me that keeps bothering me every time I see you I can’t even say a word” if you can just say “I like you.” That’s it.

Remember that all it takes to becoming a good writer is practice. It’s never too late to do something as long as you are still breathing. You may be a little older for skydiving, but you are never too old to becoming the next Homer.

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