10 Tips to Help You Become a Better Writer. Throughout my years at the English Bookshop, I have heard many different tips and suggestions about how to become a great writer. And the internet is full of writing gurus offering advice! Though few aspiring writers will ever receive the accolade of a Man Booker or Pulitzer Prize, nevertheless it is possible to publish a book that will be enjoyed by many.
The great news is that writing well isn’t only dependent on natural talent but can be developed by practice - and reading widely to understand how narratives form. The main thing you need is confidence, so a few tips to encourage you in your writing journey - whether your goal is fiction or non-fiction.
- Writing a book is not a magic process but comes after much determination and motivation - it will not take shape if you don’t persevere. Stick with it.
- Completing a book comes with no guarantees. Do your best, but sometimes you don’t achieve your desired outcome, and that’s OK. Start another- we will never know how many ‘turkeys’ some well-known author penned before their success! Try again.
- Don’t become downhearted by only listening to negative comments, take on board suggestions from those being positive - although do remember your partner or best friend may be trying to be nice! Make the most of any praise.
- Keep writing. Don’t give up. If you can, join a support or critique group or attend a writing workshop. Even a day’s course may be enough to energize you to stay motivated and get to the end - finish the book no matter what. You can do it!
- Plan a timetable e.g. a weekly word count. It’s not necessary to have a detailed plot outline, just get something down. Targets help you stay focused, accomplish your goals. If today’s words turn out to be rubbish - there’s always editing! Get words on a page.
- Read widely the kind of works you wish to emulate or some in your chosen genre. Many writers forget that writing and reading are incontrovertibly connected. Almost all authors who I have interviewed have re-enforced this message - being a good reader leads to be being a good writer. Read every day- books or reviews of books.
- Keep in mind that not everyone will like your book; some people will love it, but others may not. They may even be critical! This applies to almost everything that we do in life, so accept it. Let it go - remember there are ‘horses’ for ‘courses.’ Tolerate critics.
- Takes risks in your writing- don’t copy what has gone before.
- Bestsellers are not created overnight. It can take years to become successful. Some writers like poets Keats and Emily Dickinson or Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, only achieve fame after death. You just don’t know, so probably best to have other goals in mind - and other pleasurable pastimes that make you happy. Be patient.
- Always have something handy by you for writing on. You never know when you need to jot something down quickly in case you forget it. Then there is the Notes option on your phone. Or a reporter’s notebook beside the bed- for those flashes of inspiration during the night! Jot down anything that you might later use.
Ten simple tips to keep in mind on your journey. Everyone at LiteraryGlobe is here to support you! Join our community and post your updates, struggles, and achievements on our chatroom