If you’re looking for practical ways into becoming a better writer, then I’ve got just the post for you. Lately I’ve been thinking about more specific tips about how somebody could write better about any given subject, and a few things have come to mind. There are definitely steps you can take to become a better writer and I’m going to outline some of them here, but one or two of them will probably seem obvious to most readers. That’s ok with me – it means I can still give most people one or two things to think about.
My first and best tip is also the one that will take the most time and effort to reap rewards from. I recommend you seek out the works of great writers from our past and read through them for yourself. Don’t just limit yourself to one age or country either; read books from all over the world, from authors of many different backgrounds. If you were to focus on American writers alone, you would never discover Franz Kafka. If you were to focus on German writers alone, you would never discover George Orwell. Read, I say! And read a lot. I try to manage a few pages of something every trip to the bathroom.
Expanding your knowledge base like this will teach you about perspectives from all around the world. It can give you insights into times and places that are long in our past. This is one of the reasons I am a huge history buff, and that’s my next tip, or suggestion really. Study your history. There is a lot that every writer can learn by just looking at the history of the world surrounding them. World history is a broader subject that’s also worth studying, but understanding where you come from is important to understand where you’re going if you ask me.
Maybe you’re not writing a blog post or educational article or report at all. I know a lot of writing is about entertainment too. If that’s what you’re doing, then you’ll want to write out character bios, scenes, events and interactions beforehand. Plot things out ahead of time. I already mentioned that above, but this is especially important to people writing for entertainment purposes. Your jokes will need to be good and relevant to get laughs from your audience, and that’s just one example of how planning ahead like this can help.
My last practical way to become a better writer would have to be to accept the fact you can write badly. I write badly all the time. I don’t usually send out first drafts of my work; usually I’ve read over an article several times, made some edits and revisions, changed some words around and rewritten entire sentences before I post something. If you want to become a great writer, accept that you can also be a bad writer, then write and be willing to look over what you’ve written and make the necessary corrections. Regular revisions will make your work better overall as you avoid mistakes in the future.