10 Ways to Write Better

Ok, first things first. I’m no book author or English Major, and I’m definitely not an up-and-coming Canadian writer to watch out for.

In fact, I’ve never even published so much as an E-book or email newsletter.

Further, I don’t even friggin’ read enough.

At this point I’m just a blogger that likes to write with approximately 10 months of experience.

But that’s all besides the point, because the purpose of this post is to discuss the ways I’m learning how to write better.

Writing is very similar to working out in that it’s a muscle that needs to be exercised every day, otherwise the skill quickly vanishes away like a box of doughnuts around a police station.

It needs to be stretched, studied, and routinely prepared for the same way an NBA player gets ready for one of their games.

And the parallels continue.

For example, both writing and exercising have a plateau point of diminishing returns.

On the writing side, the natural curiosity can only take it so far, so you have to start studying other writers by reading.

On the exercising side, the body soon adapts to your rigorous workout routine, so you have to counter by switching it up.


“The difference between the almost right word and the rightword is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” ― Mark Twain


In my own experience with writing so far, I’ve found reading to be the best way to learn how to write better.

However, you have to approach the reading from a writing perspective in the first place to know what to look for.

A great way to do that is to start a blog.

It allows you to practice becoming a better writer everyday and engage with other bloggers which helps you get an idea of where to improve at.

Besides that writing is just about going with what flows good and adding your own personality to it.

I write like I talk and imitate people I think write good.

Though, what makes for good writing is all subjective anyways, right?

The following are the best ways to write better.

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Read More Books

The best way to become a better writer is to read more books.

Because if you think about it, they teach kids to read in school by continually putting them in situations where they have to read more.

They get them to write book reports, read out loud in the classroom, make speeches, and assign them reading buddies.

That said, reading is also a remarkably great teacher when it comes to writing.

You just have to be open to looking for the ways to improve in the first place.

To know where you need to improve, you must already be writing and reading other work.

Then, through reading, your mind will automatically begin to store up a more diverse vocabulary.

You’ll be able to get a better idea of what writing style you enjoy too.

There’s a lot of book worms out there that could probably write their faces off, but they’re probably too busy judging everyone else instead.

Read More Blogs

To the last point, reading more books is great and all, but there’s a huge different between a novel writer and a blogger.

That said, you need to be reading other blogs if you want to become a blogger.

Even the more accomplished bloggers still read and comment on other posts, because they care about contributing to the community.

Reading more blogs will help you gain knowledge and learn what other bloggers are talking about.

This way, you can start to get an idea of where to differentiate yourself.

But be patient because this part takes time.

You’ll be commenting on other blogs daily and that interaction alone will also lead to improved writing.

Work Out

Working out is a fantastic way to refresh your mind and come up with clever new ideas.

While at the gym, I occasionally start feeling so revitalized that I go on lackadaisical Twitter rants, because it just makes the words crawl into my head.

Ok, part of it is the music lyrics, but you can’t tell me the post-workout swagger doesn’t carry over into the writing.

The words just pour onto the page after that, trust me, you’ll have a thousand words written in no time.

Exercise really does keep you looking superior, feeling better, eating healthier, and keeps your mind sharper so you can write better as well.

Commit to an Achievable Amount of Writing Time Per Day

The best way to make sure you continue to write is to make it a habit, but make sure to keep it fun.

I originally started off trying to write a blog post per day and have attempted to write a specific amount per month numerous times.

However, I’ve come to learn that the best way to become a more consistent writer is to write for a set amount of time per day.

You don’t have to commit to a full blog post that day.  Just try 1 hour.

Or try even 30 minutes a day to start and then move up from there.

Watch Motivational Shit on YouTube

There are plenty of mornings where my head is buzzing from a hangover and I need an extra kick to get me started.

And no, it’s not the Advil I’m talking about, sometimes it’s just nice to watch something productive.

I stick to 4 types of motivational videos—Top 10’s by Evan Carmichael, Garyvee, basketball videos, and Ted Talks.

For those that don’t see the connection between watching something and improving your writing, let me explain.

Listening to another persons perspective on something can lead to fresh ideas.

It’s that simple.

See if you can find something that works for you.

Write for Yourself

Even though you’re a blogger that’s trying to make money, you don’t have to sell out the same way you do at work.

Don’t let the pressure of what others think sway your writing.

Instead of trying to be like everyone else, focus on what makes you different and use that to your advantage.

Break the Regular Routine

There’s nothing like a new experience to spark something new to write about.

That said, if you’re sitting around often wondering what to write about then maybe you haven’t experienced enough in life yet.

Perhaps you need to travel more or are in need a career change.

Maybe it’s a new challenge or could even be just a change of scenery that’s required.

Break the routine by getting out of the house and doing something new.

Do something random and just let shit happen.

Use Emotion


“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” ― Robert Frost


We’re often told to leave our issues at the door when arriving to work.

We’re told to forget that early morning argument and to do our work happily.

However, that concept changes as a writer because your emotion actually becomes your edge.

Just had an argument with your boss?  Tap into that anger while it lasts and describe it in writing.

Just got back from the best trip of your life?  Write about it on a travel blog.  Your passion for it will shine through and readers will approve.

Go through a traumatic event?  Write about it and find support in a group of like-minded individuals.

Don’t leave your emotions at the door when you sit down to write.

Instead, invite them.

Start-a-Blog

There’s no way you expected this post to be without this point right?

Because I’ve been gushing about blogging as of late.

I also can’t think of a much better way to improve at writing than starting a blog.

Honestly, you get to engage with other writers and receive live feedback on your work.

And if you don’t receive any feedback then you’re either not engaging well enough or not writing well enough.

Both are opportunities to improve.

Read Out Loud

This is an important one for me because I try to write like I speak.

That said, I always like to play my blog posts out loud.

I find it really helps with catching spelling and grammar errors, though I probably still miss a ton.

It also helps make the article flow.

Question: What are the ways you improve at writing?  Have any of the above points helped improve your writing?


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16 Comment

  1. Nice 10 tips Graham. The one that I really loved was working out it’s so true. Things that get you pumped, or relaxed, make for very good writing prep. Like having a bath/showing, listening to music or working out like you say. It’s so good! And you can think about what you want to write about during that time too.

    Tristan

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Tristan,
      Thanks for commenting and glad you liked the tips.
      I really thought the exercise one was important because it really helps to clear your head.
      Sometimes sitting a desk all day can make you feel all jittery and unsteady. Working out really helps to alleviate that and brings on calmness. The shower/music is good too! The only thing with music is that I can’t write to music with lyrics. I can only write to classical lol. Thanks for stopping by!

      1. It’s hard for us to hear words and write words at the same time. But just music isn’t distracting for the word part of our brain, I guess.

        Tristan

        1. Graham says: Reply

          It’s interesting to hear how everyones writing methods are so different. It’s Thanks for sharing, Tristan.

  2. Derek says: Reply

    Some good points. Nice post. I have a friend that says he wants to write and when I ask him why he hasn’t, he just gives me excuses. He makes it hard when it isn’t. I said, “sit down right now and start writing”. Of course, he didn’t. But that’s what it takes. People make it out to be scary or something. Like it has to be perfect the first time or they will hate themselves. It’s very strange. If you have something to write about, you should. And if you don’t like what you wrote, throw it out and start over. What I have found is that if you’re waiting for inspiration, sometimes it doesn’t come. If you sit down and just start writing, sometimes you stumble on something worthy of talking about. And sometimes you don’t. But it’s a good habit to get into because it doesn’t allow your excuses to control you.

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Derek,
      Thanks for commenting!
      You’re exactly right about waiting for the words to come. It’s easy to make excuses but if you sit down and force yourself, something will work. The first paragraph or so might be brutal but thats what editing is for. Hopefully your friends tries out writing! Thanks again 🙂

  3. Getting into a habit of writing so much each day & writing for yourself (being unique) are the two biggest practices I try to follow-thru on. I like my blog because I can write what I want to write instead of what the clients want. It’s a great way to break up the monotony. Even if it is a hobby (for now).

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Josh,
      Thanks for commenting! I totally agree that those are two are of the most important practices. Being unique and making writing a consistent habit will take you a long way.

      And that’s a great way to look at blogging as a creative outlet. It should be something you enjoy writing about. However, I’m of the thinking that our increasingly transparent society will begin to appreciate authenticity more. Writing for clients or even writing guest posts is definitely a different kind of process. But it’s always better to be unique because you’ll attract like-minded clients in the long run anyways.

      Thanks again for stopping by Josh!

  4. Excellent list. I’ve been doing “Morning Pages” for 3 weeks now, and am finally starting to feel like a writer again. These pointers are going to work their way into my routine as well. Thanks!

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Stan,
      Thanks for commenting!
      That’s awesome to hear that you’ve been going steady for over 3 weeks! I bet it’s basically a habit by now. I’m really glad to hear that the pointers will help the routine. Thanks again and keep it up 🙂

  5. Like Mr. Down Under, excercise gets my mind juices flowing. And showering for sure! More than a few times, I’ve rushed dripping wet out of the shower with THE PERFECT prose in my head only to have it fall apart when I finally get to my pen. I also like the part about new experiences to get your mind working. Great stuff!

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Adam,
      Appreciate the comment!

      There really is something about the shower. I’m not sure if it’s the relaxing environment or just that it’s so routine your mind can wander, but like you, I’ve definitely rushed out of the shower a few times to jot something down.

      Also, exercise really does help. I find it just clears my head of all the noise and brings upon a calmness. It just makes it easier to sit down and write. Glad you enjoyed the list! Take care 🙂

  6. I used to watch tons of motivational videos on youtube.
    This is one of my favourite, give it a check out haha.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kave0ZOC47U
    Jeff

    1. Graham says: Reply

      Hey Jeff,
      Thanks for sharing the video! I’ve watched that one before, it’s good. And Limitless is a great movie. Thanks again 🙂

  7. Like with most things, practice makes a big difference. The more I write, the easier it has become. What used to take me 15 or so hours now takes a fraction of that. I also find it easier to get into a rhythm now that I write regularly.

  8. Graham says: Reply

    Hi Untemplater,
    Thanks for sharing. Practice is definitely the most important thing. I guess it’s about putting in your 10,000 hours. That’s fantastic to hear that you’ve made so much progress with it. I still find that it takes me a while to write planned posts. Writing seems easier when it’s based on present experiences. Thanks for stopping by! Love you site btw 🙂

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