I often get the question from readers “How to become a successful writer?”
I find it a bit ironic that I generally receive this question by email, so the inevitable answer becomes “well, you already are a writer.”
But what about those people who just want to improve writing?
For me, writing is the most important skill you can have.
Being a good writer leads to being a better and more consistent thinker.
It’s also one of the few media outlets that, regardless of what you do or who you are in life, will write almost every day.
Whether it’s simply sending an email or updating your Facebook status, being able to articulate your thoughts clearly is an incredibly valuable skill.
Regardless of your personal or professional life, it is impossible to deny the value of the skill.
But just because we all write, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are all “writers.”
In this post, I will not only teach you how to become a better writer but also help you understand why it is so important to continue developing your writing skills in the process.
Too lazy to read it all? No problem, here is the short version
How To Become A Writer 10 Easy Step?
- become a better reader
- write every day
- start a blog
- Read the book “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley
- apply for an online writing course
- find a place to receive honest feedback
- start journaling
- Practice Becoming More Conversational
- “Write drunk, edit sober”
- recognize why you want to become a writer
It’s that easy! Obviously, if you really want to be a writer, read on for resources and tips to help you with each of these steps. Below are ten of the things I did to improve my writing skills.
1. Become A Better Reader
All the best writers I know are also voracious readers. The more you read, and specifically the more books you read, the more you will be exposed to high-quality text.
Without realizing it, you are internalizing the elements of the text and slowly begin to implement them in your own writing.
Not only that, reading provides ideas. Lots and lots of ideas. And the more ideas you have, the easier it will be to put them on paper.
Resources to become a better reader:
- Try these books. Do you want to start reading today? Check out this post, where you’ll find 12 books to help you increase your love of reading (and prepare you to be a lifestyle entrepreneur).
- Goodreads: This is a social network dedicated to reading. Use it to browse books and see reviews and see what your friends are reading. You can find some great books here that you never thought of before.
- Your local library: yes, libraries are full of great resources, all free. And, most libraries also have online books and audio resources, in addition to all the traditional material.
2. Write Every Day
As with anything in life, practice makes perfect.
If you limit your writing to 3 tweets a month, it probably won’t improve much.
But if you write every day, you will start to realize that the process is getting easier. More and more clear thoughts. And most importantly, you will start having more fun.
It is always more fun to do things that we are good at. Writing is no different.
A great way to do this is to commit to a certain number of words every day.
What if you are someone like me, whose entire business is based on a blog and the Internet? Well, the more I write, the more successful I am.
3. Create A Blog
Speaking of blogging, one of the best ways to become a writer is to simply become a writer!
The quickest way to do this is to start a blog.
Starting a blog completely changed my life. This site started in 2019 and has led to living a life I could have never imagined.
The positive effects of the starting happened quickly, tool.
4. Read “everybody Writes” By Ann Handley
When people ask me for steps on how to be a better writer, I always tell them to read Everybody Writes.
It fully recognizes the concept that we are always writing, marketing and promoting, even if we don’t realize it.
It helps you focus specifically on creating engaging and interesting content that works well online.
Other books that I recommend on the subject are:
- Bird by Bird: some instructions on writing and the life of Anne Lamott
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
5. Enroll in an Online Writing Course
We just talked about my favorite book for aspiring writers, but what about people who really want to be interested and really start to hone their work?
There are many different online courses for people who want to become writers.
My favorite is CopyHour.
This focuses specifically on how to become a better copywriter or be more persuasive with your words. It takes an unconventional approach, but it works, and that’s how I honed my own skills.
You can find a good list of free online courses to help improve your writing here.
6. Find A Place To Get Real Feedback
This is a problem, not only with writers but also with creatives or entrepreneurs in general.
It can often be difficult to get real feedback from people, because the people closest to you want you to feel good.
They prefer to be kind and polite than to say what they really need to hear.
When you try to improve your writing skills, this is horrible. The last thing you want is to repeat bad habits or spend hours creating jobs that are not interesting.
Your mother is probably not the best person to criticize your work. Neither is your partner.
Find a trusted co-worker or mentor, or find online communities for real feedback.
Forums for writing critiques:
- Writing Forums: These forums tend to focus on fictional writing, but they can be a great place to get feedback on your writing style and also for ideas.
- Legend Fire – This is a forum specifically for writing reviews. Again, it generally focuses on creative writing, but it’s an excellent starting point.
7. Start Journaling
This is a common thread that I have seen among many of my most successful entrepreneurial friends: they publish in the newspaper.
Sometimes only for 5 minutes a day, sometimes for an hour.
Journaling will not only help you organize your thoughts and prioritize tasks or initiatives, but by writing regularly you will start to improve.
As we mentioned earlier, the most important thing you can do to become a writer is to write. Journaling can be an easy way to start doing this, without the pressure of having to disclose anything.
Here are three journals I’ve used:
- Moleskine: This is the best you can get for writing, hands down. No warnings, just empty pages for you to write your thoughts on.
- Productivity Planner – A friend of mine gave it to me and I think it’s great. If the idea of journaling every day is intimidating, start with it. It helps you focus on your daily and weekly tasks. By writing daily, you begin to create this habit, which in turn can translate to journal writing more freely.
- Self Journal: Very similar to the previous Productivity Planner, but with a focus on gratitude and tracking small actions every day.
8. Practice Becoming More Conversational
This may be the best advice I have ever received. One of the first guest posts I wrote was for the Get Rich Slowly personal finance website.
The guy behind the JD Roth website told me several times during reviews: “Be more talkative and relaxed, use more contractions!”
Online, the more conversational you are, the easier your reading will be, the more relatable and reliable you will be, and the better your writing flow will be.
Comparing my writing in 2019 so far, you will notice many more contractions and a conversational tone.
9. “Write drunk, Edit Sober”
This is the famous quote attributed to Hemmingway, which I think is very valid.
You can of course interpret it literally if you want, but the way I personally interpret it is to allow your writing to be creative and to flow freely.
Don’t get bogged down in searches by adding links, formatting, or over-the-top thoughts.
Then come back with new eyes to add edit, review, format and make sure all the claims made during the initial draft are true.
Hemmingway may not have written drunk, but he certainly knew how to choose the best places in Havana. It was at the Ambos Mundos Hotel, where he wrote For Whom the Bells Ring:
10. Recognize Why You Want To Be A Writer
There are an almost unlimited number of good reasons to become a writer. Maybe you want to get into the early stages of freelance writing, maybe you want to improve your game and become a B2B content writer, or maybe you want to publish multiple books on your own.
But you need to know which of these reasons is why you want to become a better writer.
As with anything, you can only hone your art and improve your skills if you have the right motivation behind it.
So what is your motivation?
Are you writing more compelling Facebook posts to show your friends how good your life is? Is it to get the attention of influencers with your bold and cleverly created emails?
Or is it more than that?
Whatever the reason, you’re trying to learn how to become a writer, know the reason, and focus on it during your quest to improve your skills.