I’ve got bad news. Every piece of advice I’m about to give you starts with, “Spend a lot of time and do a lot of work.”
Getting better at writing, like anything else, starts with, “Do it every day and do it a whole bunch.”
So let’s begin.
1. Write every day.
See? What did I tell you? I will be the first to tell you that I have broken this rule many times.
I’ve gone through stretches where writing pisses me off or the idea of being a writer that anyone will actually read has seemed so far away that I haven’t been willing or able to bring myself to write.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s not like there’s some weird cutoff where if you don’t write anything for a month you’ll suddenly forget how to adverb and if you don’t write for a year you’ll forget what that funny little dot that goes at the end of sentences is called.
Also, not knowing how to adverb probably won’t kill you. Adverbs are best used sparingly if at all.
Hell, I remember what adverbs are entirely because of that line from the movie Johnny Dangerously where Marilu Henner asks Michael Keaton (the title character) if he knows his name is an adverb.
Johnny Dangerously: great movie. Go watch it now. Wait, no, read this and then go watch it.
Anyway, if you want to be good at something you have to do it a lot.
You might be thinking that you don’t have anything to write about every day and that’s actually good. Use that.
Force yourself to write about topics you never would have written about before.
Get a book of prompts or pick a trending topic on Facebook and sit down and write about that.
Also, don’t just write a couple sentences and call it a day.
I once saw someone try to challenge people to become better writers by writing 200 words a day.
That’s about six Tweets.
The article that included the challenge was riddled with typos, bad grammar, and poor word choice.
These things are connected.
If you want to get better go with a minimum of 1,000 words a day.
That’s about a page and a half to two pages of standard text on Microsoft Word.
I, personally, consider 1,500–2,000 words a minimum and I have been known to write 10,000 or more words a day.
2. Read Everything.
When I was nineteen I decided I was going to be a science fiction author.
So I sat my ass down and wrote a science fiction novel.
Part of that, admittedly, is because I wasn’t seasoned enough as a writer. Most of the problem is that I didn’t read fiction.
Source: How to Write Gooder