7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer Today

December 7th, by Ivana Pendragon

7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer Today
Writing is a skill that comes up a lot in modern life, from writing emails at work, posting on social media, to writing for fun. Everyone can write, but there is a vast difference between writing and good writing. Whether you're trying to write the next great novel or want to improve your basic writing skills, these tips will be useful to you.

1. Read a Lot

Make a habit of reading every day. You pick up new things by reading, even if you don't put any effort into it. Read various genres and authors, and think about what you like and don't like about their writing styles, scenes, atmosphere, and vocabulary. Try replicating the styles of your favorite authors for practice.

2. Write Every Day

Writing is a skill, and skills need to be worked on and practiced consistently. Unfortunately, there is no cheat code for getting better. Write as much as possible, every day, or even multiple times a day. You can write a journal, a blog, or short stories. It doesn't matter if someone sees it or not; the important thing is that you're writing. By writing a lot, you'll start to develop your own style.

3. Join a Class

Reading your work in front of other people might seem embarrassing and awkward, but joining a class and sharing your work can be very beneficial. If you can't find a workshop near you, there are a lot of quality online classes and courses you can join, many of them free, as well as a lot of forums and spaces for writers. If you know someone else who wants to improve their writing skills, you could keep each other in check and give each other feedback.

4. Edit Later

Don't write and edit at the same time! Turning out a perfect version of your work is an attractive idea, but that's not how it works, and you won't get much progress rewriting the same sentence over and over again during your writing session. Instead, focus on pouring out words without correcting small mistakes and then re-read and edit your work later. Not only will you get more work done this way, but you'll also put some distance between yourself and your writing, and you'll be able to see it and edit it in a more neutral light.

5. Study Grammar

Take time to brush up on some basic grammar and vocabulary. Study common mistakes people make so that you can avoid them in your writing. If you're unsure about a word or a phrase, Google it. You can break grammar rules for stylistic reasons, but you have to understand them to break them.

6. Research

Don't skip the research, no matter what you're writing. If you're writing an article on a blog post, make sure to keep your facts, statistics, and sources straight. Try to use sources other than Wikipedia. You don't have to spend days cross-referencing everything, but getting your facts wrong will make you seem lazy.

7. Plan Ahead

Think about your writing and plan ahead, even while doing other things. For example, in your commute, while exercising, doing chores, etc. This way, when the time comes to actually write things down, the thinking is already done! You won't be stuck looking at an empty page with no ideas.