Barbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Becoming a better writer in 5 steps
Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Writing is functional and educational as well as artistic and expressive. Writing well requires both quality content and creativity to make the words worth reading. Do you have a message to share with the world? Write! Humans have been sharing their knowledge and ideas with one another since they began drawing on caves. Language allowed those drawings to become words. Writing allowed those words to live forever, inscribed on tablets and scrolls and now in digital files. Whether you write on paper or type on a keyboard, your words can be transformative.
Our 10th tip series is titled “Becoming a Better Writer in 5 Steps.” For a free copy, visit our resources page and click on the Free Tip Sheet button: https://www.nutritioncommunicator.com/resources
The path to becoming a better writer consists of fairly straightforward advice – by writing. In this tip series we explore 5 steps you can take to become a better writer. The first is the most essential – write. Spoiler alert – it is also the final tip.
Tip #1 Write
No one became a great writer without writing. You have to put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard and begin. Don’t worry if it’s “good” writing – that can come later – just write! “Bad” writing can become better writing, but a blank page cannot. Set aside time to write – you won’t “find” it – you have to “make” it. In the words of author, P.D.James, “Don’t just plan to write – write.”
Tip #2 Read
Good writers read – a lot. Read not just the type of writing you aspire to, but all kinds of writing. Read good writing and notice the construction and phrasing. How are words used creatively? Author Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Learn writing by reading. Reading makes you a better writer.
Tip #3 Observe
Observe the world around you and write about your observations and your life experiences. Life is rich – the happy, the tragic, and everything in between – use it to write better. Audiences love to read, hear, and see real-life stories. “Life experiences make better writers. Think of them like a bank account you can draw from.” Dr. Mark Tucker
Tip #4 Review and revise
Never accept your first draft – even texts and emails need proofreading and deserve revision. After writing, set your work aside. Come back later and review. Get feedback from others. Check grammar, clarity, unnecessary words, examples, readability, and more. Embrace the editing process and revise – not until your writing is perfect, until it’s worth reading.
Tip #5 Keep writing.
Keep writing. Every day. The more you write the easier it gets. Writing is work and some days it’s harder than others, but don’t quit. Keep writing and keep learning and never stop. That is how you can become a better writer: Write. Read. Observe. Review and revise. Keep writing.
Set a goal to write. Every day. Share your writing with others. Get feedback. Revise and write some more. You will become a better writer. That’s a promise.
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” ~ E.B. White