How to Better Your Writing
in 9 Easy Steps

Nine Steps

Learn how to better your writing using formulas or steps. There are steps for accomplishing most things in life, including steps for improving your writing.

First, determine your goal. Do you just want to know how to write better essays or do you want to write novels or something in between? The course of action will start the same but will end differently. Writing novels will be a more intense journey.

In reaching your goal, true grit (determination) and perseverance make up the foundation of learning how to better your writing.

“By perseverance, the snail reached the ark.”

- Charles Spurgeon


Determination and perseverance aren’t the only factors needed to arrive at your goal of improving your writing. If you are not going in the right direction, these factors will be useless. Let’s look at other steps that lead in the right direction.

Know your writing skill level before determining how to better your writing. Knowing the proper use and spelling of words and how to use them properly to construct sentences are basic. You will not write a great essay or article or novel without mastering this foundation.

Reading different types of good material will give you a well-rounded feel of the English language. You will see how authors use words. You will get to know their voice. And as you write, you will discover your own voice or style in writing.

Accomplished  authors make sure to avoid misspellings and unclear passages. They do not want to slow down the reader; nor do they want the reader to stop and try to figure out what a passage means.

As you develop your writing style, your reader will also expect your writing to be pretty much error free and clear in its meaning. In addition, they will expect you to be skilled enough to use words that will invoke a certain mood in them.

When you think of, say, Stephen King, you pretty much know what to expect. He has a reputation to uphold. You know that he paid the price to write popular books, the price being many hours of becoming proficient in the proper command of words to structure sentences.


Being a native speaker helps, but there is no guarantee that she has a great command of the English language.

Many who have studied English as a second language, have become proficient in English and have gone on to write great works. But they all—native English speakers and others—have paid the price through determination, perseverance and practice.

I am a native English speaker who took an English literature class a few years ago. I discovered factors that undermined my essays and short stories. At that time, I felt that clichés were the things that would enhance my stories. My writings were riddled with them. To my surprise, my teacher informed me that clichés were a huge no-no. She also pointed out my misspellings as well as many of my words that I’d used improperly in sentences. I learned about run-on sentences and dangling participles and leaving prepositions at the end of my sentences.

For example instead of saying: He has no violin that I know of (preposition).

It’s correct to say: He has no violin of which I know.

However, the latter may sound a bit stuffy, yet it is used especially in academic writing. Many teachers aren't so strict when it comes to leaving prepositions at the end of sentences. I try not to leave them at the end of my sentences.

I asked my teacher if I needed to take a class in grammar. She said that I did not. So I did not take a grammar class, but I did want to improve my grammar. Therefore, I bought the book Elements of Style by Strunk and White.  This little book had a lot of powerful information in it. 

In your quest of how to better your writing, if you are not a native English speaker, don’t despair. You can do this!!! Know that your writing skills can outperform those with a good command of the English language. But you must write to learn to write.

Practice, practice, practice.

Know More on How to Better Your Writing by Reading on…


Consider joining a group working on similar types of writing projects that you are doing. Exchange writing projects; give and receive feedback.

Do you have a desk where you write? If not, find a physical place for yourself where your mind knows that it’s about to be about the business of writing.  If you prefer going to a coffee shop, that’s okay too. Have your writing materials handy, your laptop, pens, pencils, and paper, whatever you need for your writing project. Display some motivating quotes in your space where you can see them often.

Want to know how to better your writing? Realize that your first draft of anything will suck. It’s normal. Just don’t show it to anyone. Don't shoot for perfectionism.

Lamont gives us advice on perfectionism, saying that it  “ will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force . . . Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived” (pp. 37-38).

Want to know how to better your writing? Follow these 9 easy steps:

  • Develop true grit
  • Persevere
  • Assess your writing skill level
  • Read different types of good material
  • Practice writing
  • Join a group
  • Find your writing space
  • Don’t show your first draft of writing to anyone
  • Ditch perfectionism

These points will show you how to better your writing or said in a more appropriate way: How to Make Your Writing Better.

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird Instructions On Writing and Life. New York, Pantheon Books, 1994.

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