These three steps, and only these three steps, will make you a better writer:
Writing is an exercise – you flex your writing muscle and the output is (hopefully) great writing. Like any other exercise, you have to do it regularly to stay fit enough to be able to compete at a high level. Writing regularly ensures that you will be up to the task when you have a big assignment to complete. Regular writing makes you more efficient, more prolific and improves the overall quality of your writing as well. Real writers write every day.
2. Pushing Your Writing Boundaries
While writing a lot is certainly an important part to becoming a better writer, it doesn’t tell the whole story. The other half of it is that you have to push yourself as a writer also. Sure, you’ll get better just by writing all the time, but you’ll never be the best writer you can be. To really take your writing to a higher level, you need to push your boundaries. Get outside of your comfort zone as a writer – write new genres, write from a different perspective, write with self-imposed guidelines, write the story or post that you never imagined you’d write (or that you’ve tried for a long time to avoid), and so on. Whatever it takes, expand your writing horizons and watch as your writing skills grow as a result. This is how you will hone your craft and find your natural voice as a writer.
3. Reading a Lot
Read anything – literally anything. Just read a lot. Reading plays a huge role in writing because if you don’t take a break from writing sometimes to read, you won’t have anyone to model your writing after and borrow ideas from. Writing on an island is an okay way to write, but writing connected to the world around you will make your writing richer, deeper, and more vivid. Your brain will draw parallels and daydream where you don’t expect it and both of those things will give your writing the color that makes it yours.
So there you have it! Write a lot, write in a way that hurts, and also read a lot. It’s a pretty simple formula, albeit a pretty painful formula for most people. Just remember that there’s no magic pill that you can take that will make you a better writer. You just have to put in the time and effort to improve your writing ability.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!