New Author Tip: Don’t Just Write More, Improve as You Write

Indie Author Basics

I’ve heard it over and over again: “The more you write, the better you become at it.” I get it. It’s practice. The more you do something, the better you become at it. When it comes to writing though, I think there is more to it than that. You can write and write and write but if you’re not correcting your mistakes as you write, you are not necessarily going to become a better writer.

My new author tip for you today is this:

Learning and applying what you learn as you write makes you a better writer not just writing for the sake of writing. You don’t have to write every day to become better. Understanding what needs to be improved on and correcting it as you write, makes you better. Otherwise, you’ll keep making the same mistakes and thus, produce the same kind of work. This means that if you’ve been producing mediocrity unless you correct yourself, you’ll just continue to write and produce mediocrity. It’s that aged old saying, “insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results.”

I have been writing and publishing books for over ten years. In this time, I have remained true to my authenticity, my morals and values. I have sat down to write what I wanted when I wanted. However, my years in publishing doesn’t mean that I am a better writer. What makes me a better writer today compared to ten years ago is if I have been applying what I’ve learned to the skill. I measure my progress not by how many books I’ve published or how many years I’ve been publishing or how many reviews I have. I measure my progress based on how well I’ve been able to correct the mistakes pointed out to me.

With the help of my beta readers and the WordPress blogging community, in general, I’ve been capable of recognizing and understanding so much more about writing than I ever have in the years prior. While I have a long way to go, the books I published in the years I’ve been blogging are noticeably better, in my opinion than the ones I published before starting this blog. I credit this to nothing except for applying many of the things I’ve learned from others who are more knowledgeable and skilled than I am, to my work. I believe that as authors we have to be very intentional about this and very aware of what works for us and what does not work for us. Don’t just assume that people are always hating on you or don’t understand you or don’t like you. Consider all feedback as constructive to the process.

In these past few months (where I’ve had the opportunity to speak with people face to face, consultants, bookstore owners, and their reviewers,) I’ve come to understand that the more aware I am of my strengths and weaknesses, the better I can build on those strengths and improve on those weaknesses. The more aware I am of what needs to be corrected and the more intentional I am to actually correct it, the better I become as a writer. Not just writing alone, but learning and applying that knowledge to my writing and to the publishing process as a whole as I learn and as I grow.


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20 thoughts on “New Author Tip: Don’t Just Write More, Improve as You Write

  1. It’s so important to get feedback and be willing to listen objectively, then apply yourself to improving. Beta-Readers, reviews, listening to comments all are important. It’s also important to know your weaknesses and striving to eliminate them. I originally didn’t have a clue on punctuating dialogue, now it’s a strength. I’m much better now than even a year ago (although I promise I still need an editor). Thanks EC for all your help along the way!

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    • You’re most welcome and I definitely feel you. I try to always remember the saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Feedback is golden, even if it does make you cringe sometimes lol.

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    • True. I am less strict on editing my blog content (because I can’t afford to pay an editor for my blog and books) but I do use MS Word and grammarly to catch basic typos for sure.

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  2. This is so true! I am always looking for ways to improve on my writing. I can honestly say that I have seen noticeable improvement since beginning working on my site a little over 3 year and one-half years ago. Recently, apart from re-reading my work, I began using the Yoast SEO plugin on here and it has enhanced my writing even more. I think it has made me more conscious about the content I am submitting for the reading audience. If I want people to enjoy what I am writing, then I need to make every effort to make it pleasing to read. I place myself into the audience’s shoes and try to determine if what I am writing is something I myself would want to read. It’s a constant evolution for the serious writer…in my humble opinion.

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  3. Excellent advice! I find that I have a tendency, if reviewing my work immediately after writing, to see what I THINK is there, rather than what is actually there. It helps, when I have the luxury of time, to put a distance of 12 hours or so between the writing and proofreading, and then I am able to better see sentences that can be improved upon, etc. Thanks for the advice!

    Liked by 1 person

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