Anybody can learn how to write, if we’re going by the purest definition of the word. However, much like driving a car, there are those who go beyond simply learning how to do and actually get better at it. Some of them even get paid and become famous because they’re so much better than the rest. When it comes to writing, there are a few specific things you can do that will help you. Read on to learn how to become a better writer.
Read, and Read as Much as You Can
This may sound like obvious advice, but you’ll be surprised how many aspiring writers fail to take this into account. Reading and writing go together and you won’t develop in one if you neglect the other. Besides, what do you do if you want to learn how to be one of the bests at something? You study the masters. With writing, you need to read the works of other great writers. Make sure you’re not limiting your growth by focusing on a single author or a single genre. Take in as much as you can so that you’ll have a lot more to draw upon as influences.
Write With the Intent of Improving
Most would advise you to simply write and write a lot, but this is not sound advice. You have to write with the intent of improving your skill. Read what you have written, criticize it, spot mistakes, and study things that will help you catch areas that need improvements. If you simply write a lot, you may end up developing bad writing habits. This is very dangerous, as habits picked up through repetition can be very hard to slough off.
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Be More Observant
This may fall outside of writing itself, but pay attention to details in everything. If you take a look at some of the best written works in history, you’ll notice that the authors have a keen attention to detail and know how to express them to the reader. In order to develop the same skills, you have to learn how to be more observant: you’re looking at a person across the street, but you should also notice what he is holding, the direction he’s walking towards, the person he’s walking past by, etc. The walking person is the subject, but all the extra details you can provide will add texture and help you build images and worlds with your text.
Develop a Thick Skin
There are probably thousands of would-be novelists that never even saw a single book get published because they gave up after the first scathing criticism of their works. As a writer, one of your most effective tools for improvement is the ability to take in criticism without taking everything personally. Don’t make a mistake about it – there are people out there who are really intent on hurting your ego and your pride, but you can learn how to take everything in stride by choosing only the feedback that provides something useful and constructive. You won’t be able to do this if your first reaction is always to hide your head in the sand.
Lastly, Put Yourself Out There
If you’re afraid of getting your works out there, then you might as well just keep a journal and find a new line of work. As a writer, especially one who wants to get better and make a career out of it, you have to take every opportunity to get your works out there. People need to see what you can do. You need to accept praise and criticism as they come, and basically, written works are meant to be read. You’re not doing your part if you keep your works under lock and key.
Image credit: Orin Zebest on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]