All writers looking to improve their talent, whether it’s adjusting their sentence flow or writing more dynamic characters, seek good writing habits that make their writing better. After all, they say it takes at least ten-thousand hours to master a skill; that means writers work hard to put their best pieces together. Writers develop their talents over time with dedication and diligence to the craft.
While there’s no one size fits all strategy to make your writing better, you can start forming habits that can make your writing stronger. Here’s ten easy habits you can use to begin improving today.
Whether that’s writing every day, three days a week, or once a week, one of the best writing habits to make your writing better is to write consistently. This is because the more you work on your skill, the more you’ll practice your craft and improve over time.
Think about your day when figuring out the best way to write consistently. Do you think it’d be best to fit writing into the morning? Or perhaps you’re better off working at night after you’ve completed everything else you need to do for the day. Find a writing schedule that works for you and stick to it.
Get comfortable using dictionaries
One of the best habits any writer can have to make their writing better is utilizing dictionaries to their fullest extent. If you’re unsure of a word or want to know the general context, most online dictionaries provide plenty of examples.
Good writers don’t assume they know the meaning of obscure words and always double-check when they’re uncertain. They also know when the fancy word isn’t worth using because sometimes it can be off-putting to readers if they’ve never seen it before.
Use facts whenever possible, not opinion
One way to make your writing better includes using relevant facts to back up your points. The best arguments for an opinion are grounded in facts rather than subjective material.
Credible facts establish your authority on the point you’re trying to make by strengthening your reasoning. Readers can often pick apart writing that’s full of bias or conjecture, so make sure everything you’re using is accurate and relevant to your argument.
Learning and using proper punctuation
“DID YOU KNOW GOOD WRITERS USE PROPER PUNCTUATION?!!” has a different feel than “Good writers use proper punctuation.”
You don’t always need to make your words bigger to have your voice heard. Gigantic text statements or excessive punctuation can be off-putting to readers at times. Good writers know when they should use commas, words in caps, hyphens, and semi-colons. If you need a refresher on proper punctuation, check out some books from the library on the subject.
Allow other people read your writing
The best writers let others tell them what they think. An outside source is more likely to explain how a plot doesn’t make sense or when you’re being too wordy.
Readers who proofread have the best intentions for helping you improve your craft. Find some trustworthy writing friends or peers to trial your work before publishing.
Good writers read all the time, specifically in the genre they want to write in. For example, if you want to be a Young Adult fiction author, you should read a ton of Young Adult novels to know what’s on the market; if you want to be a blogger, you’ll read other blog posts in your industry; and if you’re writing for social media pages, you’ll read lots of those before composing yours.
Some writers dislike reading because it “ruins their creativity,” but reading actually gives you a foundation to work with. When you read you can see what’s successful and what’s not because you’re subconsciously absorbing the art of writing. Soon enough you’ll begin to incorporate the best ideas and structure into your own work.
Think about the logical order of information
What? Writing isn’t all just creativity? Well, yes, unfortunately!
Writing is a way to present a story, thoughts, opinions, and ideas. Good writers know what sentence should come before the next and how they convey facts to the reader. They know not to info dump and work to make their writing as comprehensible as possible.
Jot down your ideas
Have you ever gotten a great idea for your book at work? Or how about when you’re riding in the car? Good writers make a habit of keeping a journal or notepad where they write down their ideas. They do this so that way they can come back to their ideas later.
Think about buying a small notebook you can take with you anywhere. Make it something portable so you can easily fit it into a bag wherever you go.
Keep your writing goals within expectations
A habit of good writers is that they set realistic expectations for themselves. They know how much they can write in a sitting and where they productively get the most work done. Consider figuring out your writing style by keeping a journal of your progress.
Don’t think you can cram writing a whole book into a month if you know you simply don’t have the time. Try setting goals that challenge but push you, and once you master reaching them, set higher ones next time.
Understand that the first draft isn’t the best, but know it just isn’t there yet
The final (and most important) habit that will make your writing better is knowing the first time you try writing something, it won’t be perfect. You’ll have to tweak the dialogue, adjust the wording, and look at your sentence structure to find the best way to present your ideas.
Think of writing as a consistent work of progress; everything you do has the ability to be even better. Know that once you set your goals, you’ll be a better writer 365 days from now.
Stay positive, and happy writing!
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