If you want to be a good writer (or even a great one), first you need to find out what good writers do.
Then do the same things.
To save you the monumental effort of a simple Google search or two then, here’s a roundup of 5 things good writers do. The secrets to your writing success packaged neatly into this tiny little blog post – perfect!
5 things good writers do:
1. Work on their introductions
Making a strong first impression is crucial, and all good writers know it. This is important across the board, whether you’re writing a magazine article or a novel, but it’s of particular importance online, where readers are low on attention span and high on distractions. After all, the strength of your title, opening line and first paragraph are key influencers on whether a reader will read on.
2. Edit and rewrite relentlessly
Whether they’ve planned their piece or not, a good writer will write first, often in a stream of consciousness, and then rewrite and edit relentlessly and ruthlessly. In fact:
[Tweet ““There is no great writing, only great rewriting” ~ Justice Brandeis. #freelancewriting”]
3. Write every day
I know you’ve heard it before time and again, and I know it’s getting tired. However, you simply cannot avoid the fact that writing every day is one of the key things all good writers do. Write every week day if that’s less writing-overwhelm for you and your situation, but write something – and ensure you’re disciplined and regular with your routine.
4. Keep their ego in check
This relates loosely to point #2 on our list. Good writers don’t let their egos get in the way of a good, ruthless edit of their work. So, you think that simile involving the sunset and a giant orange beachball is kind of clever do you? If it doesn’t fit in with the flow, tone and style of your piece, guess what? Your readers won’t find it clever (nor will any editors or clients you may be working with); they’ll find it trite, so TAKE IT OUT!
5. Avoid clichés and ‘fluff’
Good writers know that overused clichés have no place in a great piece of writing. Likewise with those long, drawn-out ‘fluffy’ sentences that may massage the writer’s ego (see point #4 above), but sound terrible to the human ear. Omitting all obvious clichés and ‘fluff’ from your writing will make it better. It’s that simple.
So there you have it. If you want to be a great writer and perhaps even make money from it, simply do the things good writers do.
>> For more things good writers do, plus pitching templates and step-by-step instructions on how to earn a living from freelance writing online, take the Complete Freelance Writing Online Course: Beginner to Pro.
Image courtesy of Kai Schreiber via Flickr.