Writing is an essential skill in the modern world.
But, at the same time, it doesn’t take an expert to tell you that writing is difficult.
Along with other genres, correctly writing a blog post can be tricky.
While it might seem impossible to improve your writing, this guide will break down everything you need to know about improving your work.
What Habits Do Writers Have?
Before diving in, we should familiarize ourselves with the habits that successful writers cultivate.
Knowing them will help you set your sights on some elements to improve.
- Reading Often: Good writers read often. Reading a wide variety of texts can inspire writers to develop new ideas.
- Writing Daily: Improving your writing is like strength training or language learning which requires daily practice. Doing so will allow you to notice issues and improve on feedback.
- Freewriting: Spend five to ten minutes a day writing from a prompt without stopping. This practice allows you to work out your ideas, try new techniques, and experiment with different styles in your writing.
- Journaling: Journaling might take different forms. A writer interested in science fiction can record ideas for characters and plots in their journal. Alternatively, writers who prefer realism can record quotations, events, and observations.
- Keeping a Daily Routine: Establishing routines makes writing time sacred and immune from diversions and gives the writer space to put down their work and live their life.
- Working Without Distraction: No writer will succeed if they’re constantly distracted by other things. Instead, writers must find a concrete place to do their work, whether in their homes or at a local library.
What Are the Qualities of Good Writing?
Now that we’ve covered the habits that good writers tend to cultivate, we can start to sketch out what good writing looks like!
Correct Spelling and Grammar
An integral element of good writing is correct spelling and grammar.
You’re in a tough spot when your writing regularly misspells words and makes so many grammatical errors that it is unclear.
That said, many forms of writing depart from conventional English grammar.
African American Vernacular English, for example, has grammatical rules that differ from mainstream English, even though they’re still correct.
Next up, you should always aim to write with focus.
Then, when you start writing with a specific thesis, main idea, or purpose in mind, you’ll be able to keep yourself on target.
On top of that, staying focused will ensure that you don’t go overboard with experimental prose or get distracted from your argument.
Coherence is the companion to focus.
Even though writing is partially about working out your ideas, that doesn’t guarantee your piece will be coherent.
Your reader won’t grasp your point if you have poor grammar, poorly chosen words, or lackluster flow.
Structure is essential for all kinds of writing, whether in fiction, poetry, or business reports.
It helps determine what elements go where, how they flow into one another, and whether it all makes sense together.
All good writing answers some implicit questions.
But, of course, it might not seem like your writing answers a question.
For instance, it might seem like a fantasy story doesn’t answer a question!
But the truth is that any piece of writing responds to some implicit assumption, question, or idea.
An academic essay might take on or agree with a widely held belief.
A novel might implicitly answer questions about what a person would do in a given situation.
Even the backstory for a card game might reflect on questions about how reality works.
When you focus on the questions that undergird your writing, you’ll be able to give more precision and weight to your ideas.
Grounded in Data or Truth
Anyone can write, and unfortunately, lots of people write untruthful things.
But it’s a sign of a great writer that they are interested in saying something truthful, which might be informational truth, as you see in a scientific report.
It might be accurate reporting about current events.
Even fiction can be truthful if it speaks to the nature of reality and human life.
Although content is important, great writing must live in a beautiful style.
Style can encompass various elements, from word choice to flow.
Thankfully, there is no hard-and-fast rule for what good writing is; new styles are being innovated all the time.
Finding your voice will entail crafting a unique and appealing style for your audience.
Paints a Picture Clearly in Reader’s Head
Regardless of whether you’re composing a work of creative writing, you must be able to use rich language to evoke a picture in your reader’s mind.
Beautiful language will make your writing stand out from the crowd, even if you’re writing in an academic or business context.
Last but certainly not least, you want to write clearly.
Now, there are occasions when you might want to write in an opaque or complex way.
For example, fiction writers like Virginia Woolf use complex language to great effect.
But even for these writers, there is still a great sense of clarity in the work.
The reader understands, even if they don’t grasp every detail at once.
What Makes You a Better Writer?
Now that we know how good writers cultivate their habits and what good writing looks like, the next step is to figure out how to become a better writer.
Read on to learn how!
As we’ve suggested throughout this article, practice is one of the most important steps in becoming a better writer.
Nobody becomes a better writer in their sleep or by a stroke of divine inspiration.
Instead, they must work at it all the time, refining their style and learning how to articulate their vision.
If there’s one lesson you take away from this article, it should be this: practice, practice, practice!
To become a better writer, you’ll need to establish regular habits.
If you write daily without distractions, you’ll be able to make writing as essential in your life as anything else.
Getting Help from Someone
Even though writing is individualized, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
Getting help from others will allow you to track your writing as it develops and gain an outside perspective.
All good writers start their lives as great readers.
By reading widely and voraciously, you can develop new ideas, explore the hidden potential of your thoughts, and get stylistic inspiration.
How To Become a Better Writer
Even though trying to improve your craft can be intimidating, you can make it manageable by breaking it down by steps and field.
Read on for tips for improving different types of writing!
How To Become a Better Creative Writer
The field of creative writing includes forms like novels, short stories, poetry, and creative nonfiction.
These tips will help you improve your work as a creative writer.
1. Try Writing Prompts
If you are bereft of ideas, try to find writing prompts to spur your creativity.
Prompts, which are one- or two-sentence “hooks” for writing, can help you to get your creative juices flowing.
2. Give Freewriting a Go
Build freewriting into your schedule to spur your creativity and practice sentence crafting.
It will allow you to test out ideas in a non-committal way.
3. Learn from the Best
When you want to learn how to write, it’s always best to study your idols closely- they’ll inspire you to develop your voice.
If you love experimental writing, try Virginia Woolf.
If you like science fiction, read Brandon Sanderson or Terry Pratchett.
4. Focus on Story Arc
It can be tempting to spend all your time on descriptions and world-building.
But you need to keep your story arc in the back of your mind whenever you’re writing.
You don’t want readers to get lost.
They can get quite a thrill when a plot point pays off!
5. Base Characters on People You Know
No matter your writing niche, you should base your characters on people you know in real life.
Whether the character is an alien warrior or a Milwaukee bartender, they’ll take on a life of their own when you use real people, instead of cliches, to form their personalities.
6. Focus on What Details to Reveal
Think carefully about what details to reveal and when to reveal them.
If you front-load details, you might bore your reader.
But if you slowly tease out information about the world or characters, you’ll interest your reader.
7. Get Lots of Practice
Finally, practice your writing all the time.
Most fiction writers didn’t wake up and decide to craft a beautiful story.
They spend years practicing to develop their craft.
How To Become a Better Writer for School
Improving your writing for academic contests is an entirely different game than creative writing.
But with these tips, you’re sure to make the grade.
1. Get Help from Your Teachers
If you’re struggling, you can take advantage of your teachers’ office hours.
Your instructors have been writing for years, and they can give you tips on completing your assignments and developing your writing.
As with any genre of reading, you should always be reading.
You can read creative works to keep your imagination firing or just closely read the course materials for your class.
3. Take a Writing Course
Most students have to take one or more writing courses at their universities.
If you want extra help, take advantage of these courses, as they’ll give you a dedicated space to refine your writing.
4. Upgrade Your Vocabulary
Expanding your vocabulary will help you find new ways to say the same ideas and sound more appealing.
When in doubt, hit the thesaurus!
5. Focus on Flow
Flow is simultaneously one of the most underdeveloped but important writing skills.
It ensures that each idea flows out of the last and into the next.
When in doubt, consult materials on flow to improve your work.
6. Do Your Research
Research is important for any academic context, but it’s especially important for papers.
It will help you fact-check your work and make your ideas more nuanced.
How To Become a Better Writer for Work
You can utilize different habits or tools to make writing content easier.
Here are a few options that can get you started.
1. Try a Daily Writing Habit
As with other genres, you should adopt a daily writing habit to improve your work.
Even if you aren’t writing in your specific genre, writing with a creative or interesting prompt each day will help you articulate yourself better.
2. Read the Kind of Pieces You Want to Write
You should always keep abreast of the kind of reading that you write.
If you write memos, read over the best memos you’ve received.
If you’re a journalist, read your favorite journalistic pieces.
3. Focus on Correct Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling
Proper grammar is even more essential for professional writing than for academics.
Luckily, there are a few AI-powered writing software available online that can help you.
You can get your writing checked for grammar and punctuation before handing it off to be read.
4. Take a Writing Course
If you’re doubting yourself or just want practice, take a writing course at a university or with an independent agency.
Doing so will give you a specialized environment to refine your work.
5. Get Practice
You should always find opportunities to practice your writing, so dedicate daily time to sketching out your ideas.
It’ll benefit your work immensely in the long run.
6. Have Someone Edit Your Work
Writing should never happen in isolation.
For your serious work, keep an editor on hand to catch any mistakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few commonly asked questions about becoming a better writer.
What are 3 things that good writers do?
There are numerous habits that different types of writers form, but three of the best are to always reread your work, always practice, and always aim to have fun.
Are good writers born or made?
Some people are born with natural storytelling skills, but that doesn’t mean you can’t gain those skills with practice.
There are classes and workshops that you can attend to enhance your writing ability.
Becoming better is a complicated process, but with these specialized bits of advice at your disposal, we know you’ll be able to manage it!
If you have more questions about becoming a better writer, feel free to leave a comment!