5 Things Good Writers Do

Things good writers doIf 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.

Simple, right?

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!

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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:

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.

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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.

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Image courtesy of Kai Schreiber via Flickr.

4 Comments

  • William Ballard

    Reply Reply June 5, 2014

    Hi Kirsty!

    Great post! I really like the point about writer’s egos. I know some writers that could really learn and grow if they could only grasp that one point.

    Good stuff!

    Looking forward to the next one!

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply June 6, 2014

      Thanks William!

  • Tj

    Reply Reply June 6, 2014

    I *really* appreciate #1 Work on Introduction. I find introductions to be challenging-they need to be practical, to let the reader know what the post is about, and also engaging. I do a lot of re-writes on my intro. After I’ve written the piece, I find my intro comes much more naturally, and I’m satisfied when the writing’s clear and flows well.

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply June 7, 2014

      That’s a great way of working TJ as it means you don’t procrastinate writing a piece just because your introduction isn’t strong to begin with. Writing your piece first and then going back to perfect the intro. is a great idea. The same can be said for titles and headlines.

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