7 Tips, Besides “Write, Write, Write,” to Become a Better Writer

image by Prawny
image by Prawny

Most writers have heard they must read, write, and rewrite often to become a better writer. True, but here are other tips to improve our writing.

  1. Subscribe to a writers’ magazine.

    I find the articles in Writer’s Digest supply fresh ideas and writing techniques. When I try them, I improve my writing.

  1. Obtain at least one critique partner.

    My partner combs my manuscript for what doesn’t work. Her comments make me rethink what I wrote. When I critique her manuscript and question something, I ask myself why what she wrote doesn’t work. Sometimes I dig into my writing references to look up the answer. From either side of the process, I learn much.

  1. image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images
    image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images

    Join a writer’s group.

    The encouragement and fellowship helps to keep us writing. During our discussions, we absorb what others have studied and shared. I’ve learned about writing trends, helpful resources, audiences, genres, and techniques. Some groups perform critiques during meetings.

  1. Attend conferences.

    For most conferences, potential workshop leaders must submit proposals and outlines of what they’ll present. Therefore, this screening usually produces workshops whose content is well thought out and worthwhile to writers. This has been my experience.

  1. Be a mentor.

    To me, mentoring someone is a big responsibility. I don’t want to lead my mentee astray, so I do my homework before I provide help, which hones my own skills.

  1. Write blog posts on writing.

    While helping other writers, researching and producing such posts helps me understand and remember the techniques and principles better. And in my archives, I have easy access to what I’ve selected as important to know.

image by bykst
image by bykst
  1. Lead a workshop.

    I started leading workshops in my writers’ group. Preparing writing examples for what I presented stretched me to come up with ones that truly showed the technique. Later, I applied to lead workshops for a conference. The prep work for the workshops helps embed in my memory what I present.

These tips will grow you as a writer. They’ll help you learn writing techniques, principles, and style. But the work involved also helps you own what you learn.

7 Tips to become a better writer that are in addition to “read, write, and rewrite.” Click to tweet.

Which of these tips, or other tips, have you tried and found the most helpful?

You Can Write Blog Content Faster

Remember that writing faster and better is easy to do as long as you know what you want to say. Get a good main idea and the rest will fall into place. — C. M. Smith “How to Write Better and Faster”

 

image by BigbrotherBB
image by BigbrotherBB

Before You Write Content Faster

 

image by johnhain
image by johnhain

1.  Ask, “What am I saying to myself?”

  • If it’s, “I’ll always be a slow writer,” choose the opposite. Say, “I’m able to write faster. With the following suggestions and practice, I will write faster.”
  • Don’t give in to negative thoughts.

 

 

Suggestions:

  • Find your most productive writing time.
  • Give yourself time to establish a pattern of success.
  • Create a focused momentum, purposefully.
  • Put some form of accountability in place.
  • Sit down and move your work forward.
image by ghwtog
image by ghwtog

2.  Choose a focus for the post. Writing faster is easy when you know what you want to say.

 

Suggestions:

  • Ask, “What do I want the reader to take away?”
  • Be able to explain your main idea in one sentence.
  • Ask, “What would I like to know about [main idea, e.g. how to write faster]?”
image by picjumbo
image by picjumbo

3.  Do the prep work.

  • Read magazines and blogs on your subject. Google it.
  • Don’t think you need groundbreaking ideas; just write what you know and have learned about your main idea.

 

Suggestions:

  • Organize your ideas with an outline. Outlines show how sub-ideas work together to explain what you want to say.
  • Try a mind map: brainstorm words or ideas related to your main idea, or organize words and ideas from your research around your main idea.
  • Create a reusable form for your type of posts.

Write Content Faster

 

4.  Keep it short – one tip or one idea.

image by skeeze
image by skeeze

5.  Write as fast as you can.

Suggestions:

  • Lower your standard for the first draft.
  • Get as much written as you can (or more) from what you’ve outlined, without editing it. Writing fast turns off the internal editor or censor and allows creativity to flow.
  • Don’t get in the way. Let your hands do the thinking; give your brain a chance to relate what it knows.
  • Don’t delete a poor sentence; write another version and go on.
  • Don’t allow distractions. Stay focused.
  • Turn off or cover the monitor. If you can’t see errors, you’re less likely to stop and fix them.
  • Don’t stop. If you think of a change for a previous paragraph, jot a note and keep going.

6.  Set time limits.

image by storkman
image by storkman

Suggestions:

  • Set a reasonable project time limit. If you give yourself three days for a post, you’ll most likely take three days to do it. If you give yourself one day, you’ll most likely complete it in one day.
  • During the draft, set a timer for chunks of minutes. Don’t stop typing or writing until the timer goes off. Repeat.

After Content Is Written

 

7.  Edit your post.

Suggestions:

  • Correct typos
  • Add styling (subtitles)
  • Add photos
  • Add links
  • Check the flow (move paragraphs or change words)
  • Read it closely. Write tight.
  • Let it sit. When you return, needed changes will pop up.

Suggestions for writing blog content faster. Click to tweet.

What one suggestion might help you writer your blog content faster?

The Essential Announcement Element to Lure Readers to What You Write

“The danger of the Web is that you can go from idea to public announcement in under ten minutes.” —Seth Godin

 

by pedrojperez
by pedrojperez

We do much work to write an interesting blog post, article, or book. Yet our announcements to promote our work fail to draw people to it. We ignore the one thing that works. I say ignore, because experts are constantly encouraging us—begging us—to use this important bit of wisdom. 

Here are examples to show you what I mean.

What Many of My Incoming Emails Look Like

Set 1:

Subject: Jane Doe Is My Guest Today

First Line 1: Come by and see what Jane has to say.

First Line 2: Stop by and hear about her writing journey.

First Line 3: If you have time, come by and encourage her.

First Line 4: You don’t want to miss what she says about her writing journey.

In Set 1, even though the senders address the readers, using “you,” they don’t tell them anything. We need to find at least one thing in our content our audience will want to know. And lure them with that tidbit.

by Jusben
by Jusben

This is what experts keep telling us:

Tweetable

To lure people to read your words, tell them what’s in it for them. Click to tweet.

 

Might This Email Work Better?

Subject: How You Can Win Over Unsupportive Family

First Line: Author Jane Doe gives several successful ways she won over her unsupportive husband and children.

by Prawny
by Prawny

Set 2:

Subject: I’m on Jane Doe’s Blog Today

First Line 1: I talk about my characters.

First Line 2: I’d love to hear your thoughts on my post.

First Line 3: Novel Baby is available; hop by and meet my characters.

First Line 4: See what I went through last month with my characters.

In Set 2, notice the words “I” and “my”? Most people probably don’t care about us, the blog we’re on, or that another book is out. We must find something in our content that will make readers want to go to Jane’s blog.

Tweetable

Give people a reason to care about your spot on someone’s blog. Click to tweet.

Might These Emails Work Better?

Subject: Romance Readers: 3 Reasons Experts Say You Must Read Novel Baby

First Line: In Blogging Books today, you’ll learn why readers, such as you, endorsers, and reviewers, loved the characters in Novel Baby.

OR:

Subject: How to Rebuild Your Life After Losing Your Job

First Line: From character Drew Peters’ journey in Starting Over, Blogging Books lists 3 pitfalls and 4 successful efforts to handle the loss of you job.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Set 3:

Subject: Revamped Blog

First Line 1: Friends, I’ve revamped my blog. Check it out.

First Line 2: Fellow authors, I’ve got a new look! Tell me what you think.

In Set 3, when we write requests like this, we give people no reason to stop what they’re doing and go to one of millions of blogs to see our new look.

So, except for family members, this option may work better:

Tweetable

Instead of invitations to your new blog, write a great post & draw people to it. Click to tweet.

Which types of promotion emails do you seldom read?