3 Ways to Become a Better Writer

And the answer is not to write more.

Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

I have never been one to stay inside the box when it comes to topics. Maybe it’s just me thinking I’m cooler than I really am, or that I’m more original than 75% of the world’s population.

Probably somewhere in the middle.

Let’s get to why you’re here and not dilly-dally. Time is precious.

Here are the three ways to become a better writer:

One: Stop Trying So Hard

We writers are a tenacious bunch. We know how to slog and grind through, chapter by chapter, article by article like nobody’s business. But do you know the most common question I’ve seen among authors and writers?

“Any tips for overcoming writer’s block?”

Now, some people do not get writer’s block, and every other author and writer secretly hates them (we write them into our stories and kill them off. Because we’re civilized) because we struggle with it so freaken much.

My advice? Stop trying so hard to succeed.

We all want to succeed in our writing, but if we’re constantly burning ourselves out, how do we expect to make it there?

This doesn’t mean you give up, throw in the towel, and then call it quits! It means learning to balance your writing life with everyday life. I fail at this almost daily, but you know what, I’m improving.

Challenge: What is one way you can do to balance your life today?

Two: It’s Not All About You

It’s very easy to get so wrapped up in our writing that we forget that other people even exist. It’s all about us, our stories, and our success.

But is that really what writing is about? Is that why we write stories, or blogs, or screenplays, or movie scripts, or poems, to climb a ladder and reach some mountaintop, only to find that we are alone in enjoying our success?

Sounds like a pretty sad ending to me.

How do we avoid such a sad ending, you ask? We remember that the path to success is not paved in blood (unless, of course, you’re G.R.R Martin). There are people around you who matter, such as family, friends, and your readers.

I realize that not everyone will have the support of family and friends, and they may be the very ones discouraging you from continuing your dreams of writing. But there ARE people out there who will be a support to you.

By taking the focus off of yourself, you find that you will engage with people and learn from other people’s experiences. In doing so, you will find that those relationships can inspire your writing to greater heights than ever before.

Challenge: What is one way you can take the focus off of yourself today?

Three: You Don’t Lose Anything By Giving Back

In October of 2017, my only focus was improving my writing and posting my stories to Wattpad. Then, as the time when on and I gained readers, I became invested in their stories and their lives. Many of them I call friends.

Many of them are in their teens (13–18 year olds make up a HUGE demographic on Wattpad) and they are wrestling with life in school and writing. I cannot begin to tell you the number of stories I’ve read that would rival many of the most popular authors on the market today.

Now and then I would offer to help one of these authors with their stories and be a sounding board for them. For others, I offer to help them get a little more in-depth with their stories. Why?

Because I do not lose anything by helping them, I’ve earned their trust over the last year, and they know that I’m someone who will be honest and give good feedback.

The key to giving back is not asking for anything in return.

I do not ask them to read my stories (I know many of them haven’t), nor do I ask them to support me by doing XYZ. If they come to me for help, I help. Period.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own thing that we think if we pause to help out someone else they will steal our ideas, or we’ll give all of our best ideas away.

Instead of always asking people to help you promote your stuff, try reaching out to others and helping them along on their writing journey.

I’ve offered a couple of people I know from Wattpad who are working on their books and are getting close to publishing the chance to do a guest blog on my site promoting their works.

Shouldn’t I be worried about my writing? Shouldn’t I focus on driving traffic to my website and selling what I have? Won’t letting other authors post blogs on your site drive people to their sites?

All valid questions and concerns. For me, I don’t worry about it because I believe that in sharing in someone’s journey is just as important as walking my own.

That’s why you won’t see me pushing my worksheets very hard. If someone wants to buy them, they will. Several people have, and based on their feedback, the sheets helped.

I don’t write them with the sole purpose of making money (if it were, I’d charge a lot more haha). I do it because I want to help other authors and writers bring their stories to life.

Challenge: What is something that you can do to start giving back today?

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Originally posted on www.sdhowardauthor.com

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