All writers have different reasons for writing. Some people might want to inspire or educate; other writers seek to simply entertain those who read their work.
However, writing is a craft that anyone at any skill level can improve. Here’s nine goals all improving writers should have.
Make your work Memorable
Every writer should strive to make their work memorable to their readers. After all, you don’t want people to forget what they read a month from now because what you wrote wasn’t special. That’s why you should work to improve your writing to make it stand out.
Here’s some ideas to think about when creating memorable writing:
- Identify the core message or theme. Is there a particular idea you want to explore? How can you make someone care about it? Think about how you present your overarching theme and if it’s something your reader might want to ponder in the future.
- Subvert the cliches. Don’t use the same tropes every other book has: make your writing unique! Give your characters interesting quirks or talk about something from an angle no one else has done before. This will help your writing stand out.
- Spend time making things interesting. Don’t slop together paragraphs or scenes; really take the time to make each and every sentence count. People are more likely to remember wild descriptions or vivid imagery, so edit your work to sound entertaining out loud.
Remember, you don’t want people to associate your work with the ten other things that came before it. Stand out and improve your writing to make yourself known!
Try New Ideas
As an improving writer, you should always try writing new and exciting things. Think of new characters, write exciting imagery, use a different point of view, or try genres you haven’t had much exposure to. After all, great writers are able to take what they’ve learned and combine their experience into a better work overall.
Here’s a few ways you can try new ideas:
- Use writing prompts. Whether you buy a writing prompt book or use an online generator, write something based on a topic. This exercise can give you a break from your story and help you explore new scenarios.
- Freewrite. Freewriting is writing without stopping. You can use freewriting to come up with new scenes or use it as an exercise before you sit down to write your next chapter.
- Write short stories. Try writing short stories to find new places and characters. You might be surprised to find you can turn one of these into a novel one day!
You don’t want to get caught up rewriting the same story over and over again. Make it one of your goals to explore new ideas and start exercising your writing brain.
One goal every aspiring writer should have is to read often. Reading can help improve your vocabulary and can give you a sense of how other writers approach storytelling. When you read, you’re absorbing the story and sentence structure of a work; that in turn will help your writing evolve over time.
Reading also lets you explore what kind of books publishers look for. After all, if something’s good enough to get published, you can try to find out why by reading widely across your genre. Find what the common stories, tropes, and themes encompass the genre you’re writing in.
A Solid Writing Plan for a Big Goal
Another goal all writers should have is a solid plan to complete their work. Whether you’re looking to write a book, poetry collection, short stories, or something entirely new, you’ll want to have clear, defined goals to keep yourself on track.
Think about what your big project is going to be and what steps you need to take to finish it. Don’t start something you never intend to finish. Decide what your big writing project is going to be and stick with it.
Advance Your Editing Skills
One way to improve your writing is to master the art of editing. Nowadays, people are quick to call out typos, missing words, or incorrect vocabulary. That means it’s important for all writers to read over their sentences before they press “publish.”
Here’s a few tips to help you master editing:
- Read your writing the next day. Writing one day and editing the next can help you find corrections you didn’t see before.
- Use read aloud functions.Read aloud functions can help you identify sentences that sound unnatural. Use this as a way to find tense shifts, odd sentence structure, and repetitive words.
- Learn grammar. Yes, you read that right; good writers also understand how the English language works. Cracking open a few books about sentence structure can help you learn how to produce more powerful prose. You’ll be surprised how much you can improve your writing by refreshing yourself with the basics.
All writers should strive to edit their work to the best of their ability. This will help mitigate the editing process and will also help improve the quality of feedback you might get from someone.
Connect to Other Writers
All writers should look to connect to others in the writing community. Whether that’s joining a writing group, connecting to writers through blogs, or meeting up with your fellow writing friends, writers need to talk to other people who are passionate about writing.
When you meet people with the same passion as you, they can give you advice you might’ve never thought of on your own. Other writers can also help peer edit and help push you in the right direction when it comes to finding an agent. Try connecting to other writers to meet people like you that enjoy the written craft!
Finding a Workspace to Write in
All writers should work in a place where they’re comfortable writing. Whether that’s a quiet place in the library, a room in their house dedicated to writing, or a cafe, all improving writers should find the place where they’ll be the most productive.
Think about what makes you stop writing. Is it a text on the phone? The temptation of surfing Youtube? The fact your desk is incredibly cluttered? Your ten-year-old asking you what’s for dinner? Identify the most common reasons you stop writing, and see if you can place yourself in an environment that will help you focus.
Make arrangements to sit down somewhere for a few hours a day/week without distraction. Shut off your phone, disconnect your computer from the internet, and tell yourself that your Disney+ binge can wait.
Motivate Yourself to Write
If you’re serious about improving your writing, you should strive to motivate yourself to keep writing. Whether that’s setting particular goals, writing about wonderfully weird characters, or working on a story that truly inspires your creativity, you should look to motivate yourself to write.
Think about what pushes you towards an end goal. Is it the satisfaction of completing a project? Or perhaps it’s educating someone. Think about why you write and then put a sticky note on the desk you write on. Read the note each time you work and inspire yourself to keep finish your projects.
Always Stay Positive
As a writer, you might face a harsh critique or a pile of rejection letters. This can lead to some writers wanting to give up because not everyone will exactly love what you wrote.
However, you should always stay positive. Learn from the negative and use it to improve your work. It’s also vital to understand that not everybody is going to absolutely love your genre, but that’s okay. Continue writing what you want and try to reach the people who will enjoy your work.
Don’t ever give up. Everyone starts out as a beginner, and that includes you. Write because you want to and always look for improvement. After all, you’ll greatly improve if you can objectively look at your progress and see how you’ve advanced over time.
Are You Ready to Work on Your Writing?
If you’re ready to start improving your writing, get started on some of these goals. Go check out books from the library, find what resonates with you, and always strive to work on your craft.
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