As a writer, I am sure you have received plenty of advice on how to become a better writer. There are many ways to improve, but I have boiled it all down to three tips–the best and simplest tips I have learned so far. I hope this helps you in your writerly life!
Want to listen instead? Play the recording below to listen to the full discussion:
Just keep writing
I truly believe it is that easy. I wrote about it in previous posts, and I’ll write it again–whether it is 100 words a day or 1,000 words a day, just keep writing. There is no better way to become a better writer if you don’t actually write. You could read all of the books ever published and take all of the writing classes in the world, but if you don’t take time to write, you are delaying becoming a stronger writer.
After two years of slaving over my first manuscript, I finally have it in the hands of my beta readers. Despite my end-of-year goals piling up, I decided to just dive right in with 300 words a day towards my next book as a compromise to my usual 1000 daily word count goal.
I want to improve. I want to grow as a writer. So, I will write. And I hope you will, too!
Share your work with others
As I mentioned, my first manuscript is with my beta readers right now, and I couldn’t be more thankful. It is scary and nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing, but let me stress to you how it is 100% worth it.
If you are actually going to go through with this publishing thing, people are eventually going to read your work (Right? Just say “yes”). Why not have a small group of people read it first to offer feedback in order to improve it? You might as well fix problem areas and make improvements before many more people have access to your book.
I am only in week 3 of beta reading, but I am already learning so much about how I can improve and make this book so much better–because trust me, it needs it. I was a complete nervous wreck during the first week awaiting feedback, but I kept assuring myself it was the necessary step.
You’re usually only scared to share your work because you care about it that much.
Books are some of the best teachers. By reading more, you learn what you like and dislike. You learn techniques you may want to emulate, you learn about character development, genre tropes, and other elements you could apply to your own writing.
In order to become a more diverse reader, I joined a book club. I recommend doing this as a writer in order to expose yourself to books that you may not have read by yourself, and also to learn about books from a reader’s perspective. I am learning so much about what readers look for in a good book through our discussions, what makes them want to read more, and what they don’t like. Even if you don’t join a book club, it’s always great to read in general, whether you are in between projects or reading in between writing sessions.
If you are looking for book recommendations (or looking to add to your never-ending “to be read” list), my book club readers have read the following:
- The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
- Updraft by Fran Wilde
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
From what I have learned so far, it doesn’t get much more simple than that. Write, share your work, and read. With each tip, it pushes you out of your comfort zone and in turn makes you a better writer.