Earlier this week Colleen and I had a call with a potential client and one thing she said stood out to me, “Sometimes I get too caught up on the small details and it takes me a long time to write a little.” Guess what, she’s not the only one who has thought this. In fact, there are times when Colleen and I face these road bumps. That is why I want to share with you three important steps authors can take to become a better writer.
How You Can Become a Better Writer
The three steps below are not going to magically make you a better writer. They won’t miraculously make you a Pulitzer prize winning reporter. They won’t cut your writing time in half. However, if you work to incorporate these tips into your daily writing routine you will see your writing improve over time. In order to become a better writer you can:
- Create a daily habit
- Expand your vocabulary
- Find support
Writing is like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you become. Do you think the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl without practicing? Correct, they practiced every day to better themselves as individual athletes and as a team. When you are looking to become a better writer you too need to practice every day. The good news is as business owners writing is already an integral part of our everyday routine. We write social media, emails, worksheets, and more every day. Business owners have a leg up on other writers but it is not enough just to write for your business, you also need to practice writing for your book.
I suggest you create a daily writing routine. First off, find yourself a place where you will sit down every day to write. For me, when I write I like to go to my local Starbucks, grab a coffee, and start writing. Some of you might also do this while others go to your kitchen counter or your couch. The second point is to find a time during the day when you are most productive. I like to write in the afternoon/evening but others enjoy writing when they first wake up; it’s up to you. The important thing to remember is you build a habit by doing the same thing, in the same place, at the same time. Begin to build your habit today.
Expand Your Vocabulary
A great way to improve your writing is to expand your vocabulary. And no, you don’t need to grab a dictionary and read through it. However, reading is the way to become a better writer. Read anything and everything you can. Just like writing itself, you can find the time and place which suits you and creating a habit of reading is as important as writing. I enjoy reading at night; it helps me wind down from the stress and craziness of the day and allows me to focus on something not work related.
This is where finding what to read can become tricky. I already have a difficult time picking my next book; there are just so many great books out there! Still, we all need to be conscious of what we are reading. A few suggestions though. Continue reading books you enjoy, why do something you hate? I do suggest reading books within your genre so you can understand the genre’s norms. So those writing a memoir should read memoirs. Those writing business-oriented books should read similar books. However, you can’t discount what you will learn from other books. For example, a fiction book can lend ideas to non-fiction books, especially in terms of storytelling. In general, I suggest reading a wide variety of books, with a focus on the genre you are writing.
There are many ways we can find support with writing. One way is to find writers’ groups online or in person. Writers’ groups can be a great place to share challenges and receive advice about the actual process of writing. You can learn so much from others in the field!
Another way to find support is to work with a writing coach or an editor. You might be wondering what the difference is between an editor and a writing coach. So did I until I did a little research. An editor helps you refine your book; they breakdown your story and tell you what and where things need improvement. A writing coach on the other hand helps you better your writing itself. For example,they will help you create better sentence structure, be more descriptive, or provide other writing tips. It’s important to understand even if you work with a writing coach, your book still needs to be run through by an editor!
Writing To Become A Better Writer
At the end of the day we can all understand a few things, we can all become a better writer. When you build a daily habit, expand your vocabulary, and find support you will begin to see improvements in your writing. What tips do you have for other writers on how you became a better writer?