So you’re a writer at heart and looking for ways to improve your writing. Why else would you be reading this blog? You might need to create content for your website, blog, or publications but you’re just not sure if you’re a good enough writer. Sure, you’ve put the proverbial pen to paper before and written a few articles. Maybe you’ve taken it to the next level and written a book. How exciting!
No matter how much writing experience you might have under your belt, there is always room for improvement. Writing is a talent that requires constant practice. It requires a certain mindset. The absolute best way to become a better writer is to incorporate it into your daily life. Here are 4 tips that are sure to improve your writing.
Tip #1: Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
I see so many writers look at inspiration as something that just suddenly hits and imbues them with some sudden power to write an inspired piece. It does not work that way. Great ideas certainly cannot be forced, but the mood has a way of striking during the most inconvenient times. The secret is to take advantage of everyday life. Use your walk to Starbucks as inspiration. Stories you see on your Facebook wall might also generate ideas. There is inspiration everywhere. The trick is to always make a note of these things when they inspire you. That way, you’ll have access to inspiration when you sit down and write.
Tip #2: Find a Good Writing Space
Some writers will just sit down anywhere and try to write. I encourage you to find a safe space that’s reserved for writing. Does music inspire you? Then make sure that your writing space has an easy way to access your playlist. I find that it helps me to actually swap these spaces out from time-to-time to keep from falling into a rut, but some people might prefer consistency.
You need to find places that work well for you. Here are some of my favorite writing spaces as an example:
- I have an office desk that I use for all business related writing and editing.
- I have a separate office for working on my novels and podcasts. My playlists are built around whatever novel I’m writing.
- I like to blog while sitting on the couch.
- Public cafes are my choice for those days when I need to seek inspiration.
You should experiment with different writing places until you have found one that works best for you.
Tip #3: Stop Editing While you Write
This might be the most common advice that I give people who ask me for my “secrets.” You either dawn your writing cap or your editing cap – never both at the same time! You are going to be your own worst critic. This is true of every area in life. When you’re writing, it’s important that you just write. Your first draft is going to suck no matter what. Editing is where a masterpiece is created.
A good practice is to set a 15-minute timer and write for the full 15 minutes. Do not go back and reread sentences. Just keep writing. Don’t try to be careful or intelligent here. Just write from your heart. Let your soul pour onto the blank canvas.
Then once that time has elapsed, you can go back and edit what you have written. However, I usually recommend that writers finish their entire book before doing any editing, but this method is a good compromise.
Tip #4: Edit by Reading it Aloud
First of all, you should write like you talk for the most part. Sure, you will need to edit away some of the rough edges but this will reflect an authentic version of yourself.
With that said, you should make it a habit to read your writing aloud as you go through the first edit. It might seem silly, but hearing it provides more insight than just reading the words in your head. As a writer, you will start reading what’s supposed to be written as opposed to what is actually written. Reading it aloud tends to eliminate this potential issue.
Improve Your Writing Every Day!
The more you write, the better you will get. You should set a word count every day and make sure you hit it. Or you can dedicate specific times to writing every day. Whatever works best for you. What’s important is that you improve your writing skill every day.