ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Be a Good Writer

Updated on May 1, 2011

Intro to Good Writing

This lens isn't about blogging. It's not about pitching articles or PR. It's about writing and only writing.

It's for writers who want to get better -- for those who know that they have something to learn. It's not a place where the elite can become more elite. It's a resource for ordinary people who have passion to communicate can get some help. Enjoy.

Become a better writer (Photo by Erin Kohlenburg)
Become a better writer (Photo by Erin Kohlenburg)

Writing Tips

How to Become a Better Writer

1) Read. And read a lot.

My mom used to read the dictionary to me on long car rides, quizzing me on random words. While I don't think that this is necessary, it helped me win the 6th Grade Spelling Bee (and be a stickler for words in the future).

Words are your main tool in writing, and if you don't build your vocabulary through reading, you greatly limit how you can express yourself. Reading is the best way to get introduced to new words.

2) Brush up on grammar.

Get a decent grasp of general English grammar, but I warn you - once you understand the "rules" better, you realize how flexible many of them are. English is an evolving language.

Nonetheless, you have to learn the principles behind them before you just start poetically breaking them.

3) Pre-write.

Brainstorm, write rough sketches, draft up lists, do that silly spider-thing you learned how to do in Grade School (where you connect all the ideas in the bubbles to main bubble, which looks like a spider's body).

Take some time to figure out what you really want to write about. Then develop a structure around it, with a general direction of where you want to go.

Structure gives you something in which you can exercise your creativity without getting lost on a tangent.

4) Write.

Try to do this every day, but give yourself grace. Writing a little bit each day (e.g. 30 minutes) is more important than blocking out huge chunks of time (e.g. 3-4 hours).

Make it a priority to write every day, even when you don't feel like you have something to say. Write when you hate it and when you'd rather do something else. Write when it sounds amazing, and when it feels pretty rote. Just write. This will keep you sharp and allow you to grow as a writer.

5) Re-write.

Once you write something, you need to review it, and maybe have someone else you trust review it.

Now, here's the tricky part. If something stinks, throw it away. Stephen King calls this killing our "darlings" -- those beloved pieces of ours that don't fit in the rest of the piece. This is essential to becoming a mature writing -- learning how to throw away your crap.

This practice also helps you avoid the temptation to salvage a sentence or paragraph that you think has a good ring to it. Just throw it away.

6) Ship.

Whatever you write, after some considerable revising and editing, ship it. Release it. Let it go. Publish.

This is scary, and the artist inside of you will resist this, but shipping is necessary to becoming a better writer. You have to put your stuff out there.

Every writer thinks they have a book that they've written. They just haven't showed it to the world. The reality is that most don't. You become a published writer by publishing your content, even when you don't absolutely love it.

When given the choice between sitting on your content for another week, month, or year and letting the world see it, choose the latter.

Link List - Writing Tips from Around the Web

A list of links to helpful content on how to be a good writer

Writing Books - Straight from Mr. Amazon Himself

Here are some helpful books in your learning to be a better writer.

This lens is a work-in-progress. Let me know how I can improve it.

Reader Feedback

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)