Every writer knows that they have a lot of room to improve. It takes really hard work and a strong commitment to become a better writer. While every writer must dig deeply within themselves to discover their own unique writing style, there are a few universal tips on how to become a better writer. Here are some of these tips:
1. Read the greats. - Fortunately, there are many great writers to choose from. You should not only read them for inspiration, but also you should analyze and dissect them to understand what made them the great writer that they are. It is useful to read the secondary literature on them to understand the secrets behind what makes them such a great writer. When you try to emulate them, don't copy their style completely. You need to develop your own style. However, you can use their signature style for inspiration.
2. Get educated. - It is a good idea to take a class or two on the art of writing. You can take a class at your local college or learning center. Also, nowadays there are a lot of good courses online. However, you will maximize your benefit if you take a class from a live person. Their style and personality are important influences on your writing.
3. Write a lot. - A simple truth is that practice makes perfect. You should try to write every day. Writing multiple times a day is great if that is possible. Writing is a skill, and you will improve to the degree that you put your effort into it.
4. Keep a notebook. - One of the ways to become a better writer is to keep a notebook of your ideas. Many great writing ideas occur to people spontaneously, and they need to write them down to remember them. Not only should you record your ideas, but also you should write down things that inspire you or have real significance for you.
5. Create a writing ritual. - One of the best tips on becoming a better writer is to make your writing a regular part of your routine. You need to write every day for a period of at least a half an hour to an hour. The more the better.
6. Eliminate distractions. - Many writers don't put all of their energy into their writing. They are constantly checking the time or their phone or email when they write. Writing is a complex, difficult activity that takes total concentration. It is good to set up an office in your house or a special location where you will not get distracted while you write. Your goal should be that you get so wrapped up in your writing that you don't recognize the time passing.
7. Be concise. - You should edit your writing ruthlessly. Compact writing is much more powerful than writing that contains unessential elements in it. It is a good idea to train yourself to write shorter sentences. This also helps keep the attention of the reader focused. You should go over your writing a number of times to determine if there is anything that can be edited out.
8. Get feedback. - Every great writer needs a mentor. Even if you don't have a person that you can always go to for help, you can divide the task among many people. You should develop a thick skin to criticism. This is the only way that you will improve. If you think that you are a great writer, then you will not see the mistakes that you are making.
9. Edit your own work and then submit it to others for editing. - There are pros and cons of editing your own work. A big drawback is that you may not notice your own mistakes because it is hard to break out of incorrect thinking patterns. You need a fresh pair of eyes and a different mind to notice the places where you can improve. The positive reason for editing your own work is that only you know precisely the effect that you are trying to achieve with your writing. This may be very specific, so the best advice is to combine your own editing with that of another person.
The real answer to the question "How do I become a better writer?" is very simple. You need to put all of your energy into becoming a better writer and develop a strong commitment to your success. Even a person who does not have a lot of raw talent can flower into a great writer if they keep this in mind.