Shakespeare, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Angelou, JK Rowling, and Stephen King: these names have inspired millions of people over the years in various ways and continue to do that even today. To become a better writer, one can’t help but wonder what is it sets these people apart from the rest?
The answer to that question lies somewhere in their ability to weave magic with their words. With their writing skills, these people have changed not only the course of literature but our lives. So the big question here is; how did they do that? How do they continue to do that? And most importantly, can you become a great writer too?
Having the talent of leaving your audience spell bound with your words can open up vast opportunities for you. Achieving finesse in your writing capabilities can turn this skill into a successful business plan writing start up.
Gaining command over your words and using them to deliver the right message to your readers is an art in itself. Provided the right tools and resources, anyone can become an artist! Read enlightening texts, brainstorm innovative ideas and practice your writing skills to polish up your talent and launch your start up for business plan writing.
So if you’re on this article, the chances are that you are looking to refine your writing skills. Whether it is for a blog article or a book, you want to be able to move people with what you create. And with that, I can help you!
This article will grant you a look into what it takes to be a better writer – so without further delay, let’s get right down to it.
First Things First: what does it take?
Before we take a look at everything that you should be practically doing to improve your writing, let’s have a general discussion on what it takes to be a good writer.
What does it take? As a writer, I have asked myself this question many times, and it has always come down to this: patience and eliminating distractions.
The thing is, being a writer, let alone a good writer, is no easy task. It takes hard work, resilience, and patience. If you think you can get into the business and become a prodigy within a day, I have some bad news for you – because that’s somewhat impossible to happen. It will take time (possibly years) for you to get to a place where you yourself are satisfied with your progress.
However, just because it’s a challenging and time-consuming job does not mean it’s impossible – if you put your heart and mind to it, you will definitely get the result that makes it all worthwhile.
And although becoming a good writer is still very challenging, the digital age has made things slightly more manageable by creating a plethora of writing resources available to us in every shape and form.
Today, we’ll take a look at the best practices you should turn to as an aspiring writer and some of the most useful resources you can employ along the way in your journey to become a better writer.
Remember, this is everything that has helped me upgrade my writing skills, and I just can’t wait to see how it helps you.
Practical Tips to Refine Your Skills
The best thing about being a writer is that it keeps you on your feet throughout the entirety of your journey. I’ve realized that there is just so much that you can do practically when it comes to refining your skills. Let’s turn to a few practices that have proven to be useful for me and are likely to be valuable to you too!
Reading as much as you can.
The best place to start your writing journey is from books. As cliche and evident as it may sound, you will find the inspiration you’re looking for in other people’s works – which is why it’s essential to develop a habit of reading. I personally would suggest to all sorts of stuff; the good, the bad, and the ugly!
This will teach you to differentiate between good and bad writing and will therefore allow you to replicate what you want in your own writing. That being said, do make sure that the majority of your time goes towards good writing, though! Once you get in touch with the master of words, it would be hard not to be great yourself.
Practice, practice, practice!
Another obvious one, but there are no two thoughts about this – if you want to become a better writer, you have to invest a lot of time and effort into practicing. Your primary goal should be to write every day and multiple times per day if you can. The reason behind this is that the more you write, the more attuned you will become to your own style and the better you will be able to judge it.
And hey, don’t worry about writing bad or failing at it. If you genuinely want to become a good writer or copywriter, failures are essential. That’s because they help you understand your mistake and improve upon it.
This will allow you to improve over time. You can always start by writing for yourself, but blogging/working for publications aren’t bad ideas either!
Frequent brainstorming of ideas.
Ideas are the most valuable asset to you as a writer, so you need to develop a habit of noting them down. You can carry index cards around like Nabokov, or invest in a small notebook that will stay with you wherever you go. The point is to write down any ideas, inspiration, motivation that you get.
If you’re writing a book, note down any character traits, plot twists, or visual details that come to you. Writing your ideas down can serve as a plan, and hence accelerate the speed at which you complete your writing.
Setting up a writing routine.
You need to find a particular time of the day that works the best for you: preferably when your other distractions are minimal, and you can concentrate on your writing with no interruptions.
The idea is to base your writing routine around that time so that your productivity levels are at their peak. Just pick a time, and try to write every day around that time! You will soon have an indispensable routine, and trust me, your productivity will be touching the roof. If you’re a beginner, even 30 minutes of writing will do; however, the more time you spend, the better you can develop your skills.
For me, the night time works the best, so I clear a few hours out of my schedule at night to work on my writing projects.
Improving your focus.
In order to increase your productivity, you need to eliminate your distractions! Here’s the thing: the sight of blank paper can be quite scary, even for the best writers out there. In order to avoid pouring your brains out, you will want to procrastinate. The key is to fight that urge and get started! Writing is an active process that requires every last brain cell that you possess, so it does not go well with multi-tasking or background noise. Clear away the distractions, and watch your writing touch new peaks!
Testing, experimenting, and revising.
This is possibly the most important thing on this list! Not only should you be testing new writing methods, but you should also experiment with new styles and structures. Employ new, unique words into your piece. It wouldn’t do you much good to just follow age-old traditions – do something new, and surprise your audience.
While I totally encourage you to take inspiration from already well-established writers, don’t just follow them. Branch into new territories, and create a piece that is personal. Once you’re done with all that, you need to get to revising. Most writers will shy away from this because isn’t writing work enough?
But if you plan on being generous, you must get into the habit of going over your own work and revising it to the best of your ability.
Learning to be concise.
Another thing that will significantly help you is being concise. Let’s be real – no one wants to read out dragged out, dreary sentences that are hard to keep up with. It’s so much easier to both read and write smaller sentences that are short but also pack a considerable punch in whatever it is that they are trying to say.
An excellent way to ensure that you are being concise is during the revision: remove everything that doesn’t add value to your work, and you’ll be good to go.
Realizing the importance of feedback.
You need to realize that you won’t be able to get any better if you don’t allow access to your work!
For this reason, it is vital to get someone to read your stuff. I always ask friends who are into reading to go through my work so that they can give me an insight into the reader’s perspective and allow me to edit my work to fit those ideas better. The feedback you get from a person who is familiar with the literature will always be valuable, as it allows you to make some powerful improvements.
Conversation Tone > Rules of Grammar
The problem with many writers is that they write too formally. This can make your text boring and hard to read. It’s always better to write the way you talk because people prefer reading a conversational piece over something that is monotonous and overwhelmingly textbook-like. The key is to make people relate to it better! Although not an easy task at first, but it’s something to work towards.
Remember, it’s always better to be conversational if that means having to sacrifice specific grammar rules. Of course, don’t go overboard with it – but don’t hesitate to be a rebel if it means what you’re writing is engaging and potentially written well enough to be loved by its target audience.
Drafting a better structure.
Lastly, the structure of your piece matters a lot. Always remember that the most critical parts of your writing will always be the start and the end. The start is crucial because if you don’t entice your reader from the very onset of your text, they won’t feel the need to read the rest of your writing!
Once you’re done with the first draft, make sure the structure highlights and gives prominence to the start and end of your writing. Structure, good start, good finish – make sure you have these three aspects sorted out.
Some Resources To Help You Write Better!
As a writer in the digital age, you’re probably already familiar with all the cool tools that make your work easier. However, this little online resource list is very useful as most of these are easily accessible across the world and very straightforward to use.
It also includes a few writing-related products that I swear by! You better bookmark this part if you don’t want to lose sight of this treasure:
Poets and Writers
This website offers databases of literary agents, literary magazines, small presses, writing contests, and so much. It also gives an insight into out to get published and allows writers to interact with one and another for all sorts of support and advice.
In short, Poets and Writers is a beautiful yet underrated resource that is bound to upgrade your writing skills for the better.
Jane Friedman is another useful website if you’re looking to gain more information on publishing and how to make a name for yourself as a writer in today’s day and age. She is a former Writer Digest publisher. Her blog offers precious advice on how to stand out as an author!
Friedman gives the best advice that must be employed in your strategy for better-written content no matter the topic.
The Academy of American Poets (poets.org)
Poets.org is an incredible resource if you want to find motivation for your own literary wonder. Having access to the work of some greats poets like Shelley and Keats can really inspire you to write better.
Additionally, easy access can also enable you to develop the habit of reading that I mentioned earlier.
But my favorite part is the poem-a-day category on the site that publishes new poetry of contemporary writers! Who knows, maybe you’ll become a part of it as well.
One thing that has really helped me in my writing journey is the habit of planning my work before I actually get to the writing. You can always do it with apps like Evernote, but for me, physically writing down the ideas and plans I have for my project is still the best way of getting my brain to work the best.
Here’s the notebook that I use, and you can quickly get it from Amazon. It’s a leather journal with high-quality pages and is also available in pocket-size. So you can keep it in your bag as well and write on the go!
Becoming a better writer means typing… Lots of it. For that, you need to have the most comfortable typing tool, and unfortunately, the keyboards/keypads of our devices don’t always make the cut.
This is the one that I use and love! It is compatible with mac and windows alike. The best part? It makes almost no noise while typing, which is honestly the dream of every writer!
Would this list even be a thing if Grammarly wasn’t on it? Grammarly is the world’s ultimate choice when it comes to software that helps you improve your writing. It is an advanced grammar checker that underlines errors and other weak phrases in your work and fixes them. It also gives you a detailed reason behind each of its choices.
Additionally, it also measures your text’s efficiency across different metrics, such as clarity, engagement, and delivery.
I’m sure this one caught you off-guard, but you know writing itself is not enough – not in this age. You have to worry about the graphics and images too!
Whether it is the featured image for your blog or a promotional post for your book, visuals are an essential part. Canva evident helps you design beautiful visuals for whatever purpose, and that too for free!
The Final Word
I hope the things that I have penned down help you in your writing journey and that you can find inspiration in some of the sources provided above. However, the best way to become a better writer is to believe in yourself, and never give up.
And on that note, I bid you farewell. Happy writing!