It is easy to feel anxious about your writing; a writer is his or her own worst critic. However, with some simple steps, you can easily become a better writer in 30 days. First, get comfortable. It could benefit you to purchase an ergonomic chair, to curb the aches that a writer typically gets from sitting in one place for long periods of time. Is the seat height easily adjustable? Is there good lumbar support? For a writer, a comfortable chair is a good investment.
Are you ready to become a better writer? Read on to find out what you need to do.
Have a plan
There are several actions that you can take to make planning easy. Try these simple steps:
# Think about your topic while you are in the Become A Better Writer in 30 Days shower, during your morning run or while you are driving to a friend’s place.
# After your pre-writing thought process, take 10–15 minutes to type or write down an outline. This will keep you on track.
# Do your research. Organize any important information within your outline.
# Think about what kind of style your piece should have: professional, formal or casual?
Read, read, read
Reading works by different authors will give you a deeper sense of effective writing. There are several types of writing that you can read:
# Fiction — Novels and short stories come to mind.
# Non-fiction — Newspapers, biographies and health magazines can be models for the written word as well. If you find that you do not have much time to read, try watching television less often. Listen to audio books or podcasts while you are on the bus.
Write, write, write
Practice makes perfect. Here are a few tips for writing more often:
# Write down your ideas. Carry a small notebook or type your ideas into the notes feature of your mobile phone. Write down song lyrics that you enjoy. These notes will be a fountain of inspiration once you are ready to do the real writing.
# Make a ritual for yourself. Designate a time and place each day so you can write without interruptions. Make yourself write for at least 20–30 minutes. Do not permit yourself to check your phone, instant messages or email during this time.
# Should you have trouble getting started, just write about anything that comes to mind. It does not have to be about your chosen topic.
Proofread and revise your work
Your first attempt will not be perfect, and that is okay. Here are common questions to ask yourself when proofing your own work:
# Are there awkward sentence structures or phrases that do not make sense?
# Are all of your main thoughts concise? Sentences should be short and generally free of big words.
# Is the word choice okay? Are there any grammatical errors? A couple of mixed-up words can damage your credibility.
Take your time proofreading and do it a few times. Keep a dictionary and thesaurus handy in case you need to make certain phrases stand out.
Take a break
If you are a freelance writer, it is easy to feel socially-isolated and depressed. Take the proper precautions for the benefit of your own mental health:
# After you write a draft, put it away for a while. Take a walk, go to a café or meet up with a friend. If possible, leave your draft for a couple of days. When you come back to it, you should have a clearer perspective.
# Go to the beach or park for respite, revitalization and inspiration.
# Exercise to your favorite aerobics DVD or stretch for a while.
There is always work to be done, but it is crucial to take care of yourself, just as you would in any other line of work. Otherwise, you risk becoming bored and disenchanted.
Solicit feedback from other people
At some point, you will get feedback from an editor, a client or the general public. Why not ask some people to preview your work?
# Ask a good writer to read the piece. A good writer will be honest.
# Join a writing group. In a group setting, you will get a lot of different ideas, and you can take what you want from it.
# Listen to any criticism that you receive. Thank anyone who has looked over your work and use their criticisms in a constructive way. Do not take anything personally.
Getting the input of others can prevent unnecessary anxiety once the piece is made public. Often, writers are so familiar with their own work that they do not see obvious flaws or ways that would enhance their writing.
To a writer, time is money. There are many steps that you can take toward becoming a better writer in just 30 days. Most of these approaches do not take a lot of time at all.