How to Become a Better Writer in 7 Easy Steps

Hemingway wasn’t born an excellent writer, but he was passionate about writing, which led him to hone his talent and pursue his craft earnestly.

If you have a knack for writing, then you should develop your skills to become a better writer by all means possible.

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.” – Ernest Hemingway

Sharpen your writing skills with these unique tips.

 

  • Read as much as you write.

 

May it be novels, non-fiction books, online articles, news articles or children’s storybooks, just read anything that interests you. Reading will help you become more familiar with grammar, sentence structure, storytelling, and other writing concepts, and show you the writing styles of various authors and writers.

If you want to be a best-selling author someday, then you need to do your research and read materials that audiences like devouring. Dissect the writing of authors and writers you admire. Learn from them by figuring out why you like them and why their writing appeals to their audience.

Allot an hour (maybe two, if you get too engrossed) before bedtime for reading. Check out Juan Miguel Severo’s Tuwing Ikatlong Sabado. He’s one of the country’s rising writer and poet.

 

  • Expand your vocabulary.

 

If you encounter unfamiliar words while you’re reading, look them up in the dictionary. Understand its definition, etymology, pronunciation, and usage. To better understand unfamiliar words, use a Tagalog-English or English-Tagalog dictionary. This will help you expand your vocabulary in both English and Filipino.

You can also download a mobile app on your phone, so you can quickly look up new words and phrases anywhere you are. Try the Merriam-Webster dictionary app.

 

  • Follow blogs of your favorite authors for inspiration.

 

Who are the authors you admire? Most authors maintain their own blogs to share their writing experiences and know-how like in this blog post where John Grisham shares plotting tips.

You can also follow group blogs or blogs for writers. Writer’s Block Philippines is a great source of writing tips for Filipino writers.

Look for blogs about specific topics that interest you whether it’s about travel, parenting, makeup, or dogs to get a feel for the different writing styles for different niches. You can also get an idea about how bloggers and writers brand themselves to get their own following.

 

  • Keep in mind writing tips of successful writers.

 

Now that you’re following and regularly reading blog posts and materials of successful writers, you need to take to heart the tips that they share. Use them as inspiration and encouragement, but develop your own tone and style too. As Jane Austen once said, “one man’s style must not be the rule of another’s.”

Follow your favorite authors on social media to get daily inspiration and guidance. Jon Winokur, author of Advice To Writers, The Big Book of Irony, and The Portable Curmudgeon, for instance, maintains a Twitter page where he regularly shares tips for writers.

 

  • Write, write, write.

 

Ideas can strike during inopportune moments. You could be at the checkout counter of the grocery store when a story idea suddenly pops into your head.

Keep a small journal and pen handy at all times, so you can quickly write when inspiration strikes. If you don’t jot them down somewhere, you might forget an otherwise brilliant idea. There are a wide variety of chic journals you can quickly purchase in any bookstore in the Philippines.

Some writers use their mobile devices to jot down short phrases and sentences. But, if you’re more comfortable with pen and paper, then a journal or planner will work well for you. Use different colors of pencils, pens, highlighters, or crayons to make it even more fun!

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” – Ernest Hemingway

Keep writing. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece all the time, but it will help you practice and become more comfortable in crafting words. Start with one sentence, and then go on from there. When the words are flowing, don’t stop – just keep writing. Let no one interrupt you when you’re in the zone!

 

  • Use writing tools or apps to improve your writing.

 

There are a wide variety of tools and apps that can help writers organize their thoughts or edit their work. If you want to boost your productivity while writing, try the Hemingway App or Grammarly. It will show you grammatical errors and sentence structure mistakes, so you can quickly revise your work.

If you’ve done a lot of research for a story you’re building, then you must have read countless articles already. Evernote will help you organize your files and keep you on track. It also lets you save articles and quotes so that you can get back to them later.

 

  • Join conferences and workshops.

 

There are a lot of helpful online resources, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with hundreds or even thousands of writing tips and advice. Offline conferences and workshops can also help you sharpen your writing skills through structured lessons.

This August 25 to 27, 2017, the 2017 Philippine Readers and Writers Festival is holding a three-day event of book signings and panel discussions from the country’s top authors and illustrators. It’s a great opportunity to meet top Filipino authors, writers, and artists. Mingle with like-minded individuals and pick their brains.

Join the conversation on social media – @nbsalert on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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