Long before I made a living as a writer, I was passionate about writing. Now as a full-time author, people frequently ask me how to improve their writing.
My advice is simple:
1. Sit in the Chair
These four words changed my life. For a long time, I was an aspiring writer—which meant I didn’t write much. Sure, I aspired daily, but I didn’t make writing a priority. Instead, I spent time passively parked in front of glowing screens: watching TV, perusing Facebook, checking email.
I didn’t become a writer until I developed a writing habit. People don’t learn how to write via osmosis; it takes work. So forget word count or page count, and don’t worry about creating the perfect writing space—focus instead on sitting in the chair distraction-free, writing for at least an hour a day. Do this for a month and you will improve more than you thought possible.
2. Start a Blog
Perhaps the best thing I ever did for my writing career was find an outlet through which I could express myself: blogging. My sole regret is I didn’t start sooner. It’s such an inexpensive and effective way to communicate with, and add value to, other people. Plus, the consistency of blogging strengthens your writing habit.
I wrote about my entire step-by-step process here: How to Start a Successful Blog Today. And it’s easier than you think.
3. Kill Fear with Accountability
For years I wanted to be a writer, but I was terrified to write. What if people judge me? What if my writing is bad? What if, what if, what if? Paralyzed by fear, I remained inactive and unproductive, always postponing until “tomorrow.”
To overcome this fear, find an accountability partner: a spouse, sibling, coworker, or loved one—anyone who’s willing to help for 60 seconds a day. Then, report to your partner each day via email, and include: a) how long you sat in the chair, b) what topic you wrote about, and c) why it was a good or bad day for your writing. It takes less than a minute to send this email, and the benefits are disproportionately positive. Try it for a month: you’ll watch your fear disintegrate.
How to Write Better
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