9 Tips to Help You Ingrain the Qualities of A Good Writer
Having thought of imbibing the qualities of good writing is itself a great start. Finding ways of improvising is the must-have caliber. With a great start, you all should be aware of a few basic pointers that will assist you in honing your writing.
“Writing is a simple task that anyone can win,” do you agree with this statement? If you do, please accept my apologies my friends; you may be mistaken. When people actually sit down to write down their thoughts, they fall blank. Have you had a similar experience? Maybe!
Even when writing, numerous thoughts come to mind, whether this is important or not. Is it true that I’m a good writer or not? Do I possess the qualities of a good writer? And so forth. Every good writer has craftsmanship that ameliorates their written pieces into a prominent one. Good writing is not an inborn talent. It’s a consistent and deliberate effort of an author that adds a “good” before “writer”.
So, what can be done in order to have the level of understanding and craftsmanship that a writer should have? It requires a continual effort and a lot of patience to ingrain the qualities of a good writer. Be prepared to adopt the basic yet effective methods that will help you become a better writer.
#What Do Good Writers Do?
A good writer produces good writing, that much is obvious. But there’s more to being a good writer than just making the words flow together smoothly. Below are some of the most important things good writers do on a regular basis.
The best writers write to be understood. They construct text for their audience and tailor every single line and sentence to their eyes. Complex topic designed for professionals? Break out the big vocabulary. Web writing about art supplies? Stay informal, stay fun. Good writers do this automatically when intuition allows, and study up on their target audience’s particular manner of speech when it doesn’t.
There are a lot of rules to writing, especially in English. Don’t end a sentence with a preposition. Don’t use the same word twice in close proximity. Restrict your adjectives to an absolute minimum. And don’t start a sentence with the word “and” (haha!).
Good writers know these rules are often important for being understood. They also know the perfect time to break those rules to make a connection with the reader. Grammar and punctuation play an important role in writing, but they aren’t the ultimate factors in winning your audience’s engagement.
Top-tier writers can gab on about any number of topics with a reasonable level of proficiency. But the best writers write about topics they’re already familiar with, and they write in their own voice. This one-two punch makes it easy to connect with like-minded folk and produces some of the best pieces of writing around.
What’s worse than writing the same type of content over and over again for months at a time? Well, nothing, really. Good writers know that rehashing what has already been said doesn’t do much in the way of attracting new readers. Instead, they take chances, they’re bold and imaginative. Sometimes those risks fall short of success, but when they land, they hit the target spot-on.
The best types of writing focus on one or two key issues. They don’t jump from topic to topic, they stick with the thesis and carry it through to the end. Writers who produce this type of content are generally focused themselves, though don’t be surprised if a scattered wordsmith creates pristine content from time to time.
Do you need a 417-word article discussing the pros and cons of at-home paint mixing, making sure to mention DIY car repair at least twice? A good writer can pull that off, and they can do it while adhering to all of the above criteria, too.
The most overlooked factor of what makes a writer “good” is consistency. Anyone who has written something in their life can work hard and create a respectable piece of writing. But can they do that twice a day, every day, for the duration of their contract?
A Guide to Becoming a Better Writer: 15 Practical Tips
If you’ve always dreamed of being the next Hemingway or Vonnegut (or even Grisham), or perhaps if you just want to write better essays for school or posts for your blog … you need to sharpen those writing skills.
It takes hard work. But it’s worth the effort. And if it seems like an insurmountable task, there are some concrete things you can do today that will get you on the road to improvement.
Personally, I’ve been a fiction, newspaper, magazine and blog writer for 17 years now, writing for a variety of publications … and I’m still trying to improve. Every writer can get better, and no writer is perfect. I think I’ve grown tremendously as a writer over the last couple of decades, but it has been a painful journey. Let me share some of what I’ve learned.
No matter what level of writer you are, there should be a suggestion or twelve here that will help.
1. Read great writers. This may sound obvious, but it has to be said. This is the place to start. If you don’t read great writing, you won’t know how to do it. Everyone starts by learning from the masters, by emulating them, and then through them, you find your own voice. Read a lot. As much as possible. Pay close attention to style and mechanics in addition to content.
2. Write a lot. Try to write every day, or multiple times a day if possible. The more you write, the better you’ll get. Writing is a skill, and like any other skill, you have to practice it to get better. Write stuff for yourself, write for a blog, write for other publications. Write just to write, and have a blast doing it. It gets easier after awhile if you practice a lot.
3. Write down ideas, all the time. Keep a little notebook handy (Nabokov carried around index cards) and write down ideas for stories or articles or novels or characters. Write down snippets of conversation that you hear. Write down plot twists and visual details and fragments of song lyrics or poems that move you. Having these ideas written down helps, because they can inspire you or actually go directly into your writing. I like to keep a list of post ideas for my blog, and I continually add to it.
4. Create a writing ritual. Find a certain time of day when you can write without interruptions, and make it a routine. For me, mornings work best, but others might find lunch or evenings or midnight hours the best. Whatever works for you, make it a must-do thing every single day. Write for at least 30 minutes, but an hour is even better. If you’re a full-time writer, you’ll need to write for several hours a day, as I do. But don’t worry! It helps you get better.
5. Just write. If you’ve got blank paper or a blank screen staring at you, it can be intimidating. You might be tempted to go check your email or get a snack. Well, don’t even think about it, mister. Just start writing. Start typing away — it doesn’t matter what you write — and get the fingers moving. Once you get going, you get in the flow of things, and it gets easier. I like to start out by typing things like my name or a headline or something easy like that, and then the juices start flowing and stuff just pours out of me. But the key is to just get going.
6. Eliminate distractions. Writing does not work well with multi-tasking or background noise. It’s best done in quiet, or with some mellow music playing. Do your writing with a minimal writer like WriteRoom or DarkRoom or Writer, and do it in full-screen. Turn off email or IM notifications, turn off the phone and your cell phone, turn off the TV, and clear off your desk … you can stuff everything in a drawer for now until you have time to sort everything out later … but don’t get into sorting mode now, because it’s writing time! Clear away distractions so you can work without interruption.
7. Plan, then write. This may sound contradictory to the above “just write” tip, but it’s not really. I find it useful to do my planning or pre-writing thinking before I sit down to write. I’ll think about it during my daily run, or walk around for a bit to brainstorm, then write things down and do an outline if necessary. Then, when I’m ready, I can sit down and just crank out the text. The thinking’s already been done. For a great method for planning out a novel, see the Snowflake Method.
8. Experiment. Just because you want to emulate the great writers doesn’t mean you have to be exactly like them. Try out new things. Steal bits from other people. Experiment with your style, your voice, your mechanics, your themes. Try out new words. Invent new words. Experimentalize everything. And see what works, and toss out what doesn’t.