How To Be a Better Writer In 3 Not-Particularly-Easy Steps

Do you want to be a better writer? If you write a blog, being a decent writer helps! Click through for writing tips that will help you improve your blog + land more clients!
How does one become a better writer? Is there a pill? A 5-step process? A short manual?Alas, no.

But today writer and comedian Sarah Storer is telling us how she became a better writer.

A reader asked me recently how to write, citing specifically that she has trouble getting emotions from heart to page.

While I was flattered to be asked to share this advice, I began to think back on the steps I took to be a better writer. Lo and behold, I came up with three essential steps that every writer should keep in her toolbox.

Read away, Internet, and then go write something!

How to be a better writer: Get honest

You can't be a good writer till you learn to be honest - with yourself + with your readers. Click To Tweet I know that seems like an obvious piece of advice. But I had to train myself to actually write what I meant. I started doing personal journaling where I forced myself to write EXACTLY what I was thinking.

For example, don’t write “poop” when you’re thinking “shit”, don’t write “make love” when you’re thinking “fck”. I found that I was censoring and editing myself a lot.

When I forced myself to write uncensoredly in my personal writing, I was able to write more honestly for an audience.

How to be a better writer: Write every day

In college I hated this phrase: “Good writers write always.” I would think to myself, “Well, I can write well, I don’t need to write every day.” Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I think the blogging world is a little different, because readers expect regular posts, but it wasn’t until I began writing (nearly) every day that I saw a spike in my readership or improvement in my style.

Even if I’m not publishing something, I’m writing. I’m writing a speech for my Toastmaster’s group, writing an e-mail, writing a paper. If you don’t have the initial discipline to write on your own every day, join a class or a group where you will be forced to write regularly. You’ll be surprised at how the words start to flow.

How to be a better writer: Find your voice

Write like who you are. Learn to write in the same way that you speak and think. (Though obviously within most of the rules of good grammar and syntax. Really, there is nothing worse than visiting a blog where everything is all “omg u wer so awesome lol on mi blkberri, lmao!!111!”)

My verbal conversations are almost always light, a little snarky, and wry. It took me a long time to begin to write this way. I thought “People can hear me talk, why would they want to read the same thing?”

But they do, because, again, your true writing voice stems from an honest place. Finding a voice takes time. Sometimes you’ll find it just sort of “evolves.” But, if you’re being honest and writing every day, it’ll come sooner than you think.

If you’ve a writer and you’ve improved – howwwww? Tell us in the comments so we can learn from you!

P.S The DIY writing retreat I swear by + How to find your writing voice

photo by thought catalog // cc

12 Comments

Penny

This is a great post! I struggle with my own voice, but I have started daily writing meditation which basically means I just write freely for three pages in my notebook each morning. I just know it’s helping already! Plus I love finding new, inspiring and interesting blogs to read 🙂

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Erin

*tear*, sniff You like me! I was just about to leave a comment saying fantastic advice, and then saw your link to my blog and seriously nearly cried. That means a lot.

Seriously, though, very thoughtful advice. #2 is a good one–and that’s part of why I started a blog, to have accountability to write (almost) every day.

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Georgia

Thanks for the much needed tips. I have the biggest problem with the “writing everyday” thing, as I tend to be a bit of a procrastinator…or more so, I just feel like I have nothing to write about. I always find, though, that once I buckle down and start writing something, the words just flow. Now if I could just figure out a way to put as much effort into writing as I put into checking Tumblr. Gah.

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Word Seductress

This is seriously good advice!! Especially number 3, people can tell a phoney straight away when you’re trying to imitate what you think is your voice but is in fact not.
Thanks!

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Anonymous

When I initially started writing, because my topic was new to me I thought it should just be factual, where to eat, what to see, where to stay. The feedback I got was it was a little clinical….slowly I have relaxed into my new topic and I’m back in there, the voice that people loved from my personal blog, snarky, a little weird and amusing (if only to myself) I enjoy my blog posts and I think because I do that comes across which helps readers enjoy it too.

Good post x

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Anonymous

What really helps me is to embrace the discomfort when writing. Writing can be really tough at times, these are exactly the times you need to keep going. Keep writing. Even if you have zero inspiration and everything you write is shit. I remember myself at those times of Seth Godin’s book: the dip. He basically states that “the dip”(the moment you start doubting yourself and want to quit on your endeavours) is the moment where you have the opportunity to leave the competition behind. If you don’t quit and keep going you will automatically become better then all the people who did quit when facing a bump. So when I evaluate my own writing, the most important criteria for me is not whether what I wrote was any good, but whether I quit when it got hard, or kept going.

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