5 Steps to Becoming A Better Writer

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It is important to grow and become better at whatever it is you do.

The best athletes still have to train and practice.
The best doctors still have to keep up with the changes in technology and scientific discoveries.
The oldest Christians still have to study the word and pray.

There is no such thing as “arriving”…until we leave this earth, but that’s taking this post way deeper than I’m trying to go right now.

Over the past year, I have taken some intentional steps towards improving my writing and I thought I’d share them with any other writers who may be interested.

So here they are:

1. Read More

I don’t think it’s really necessary to explain the importance of reading to a writer, so, I mean, just do it! But seriously, reading other people’s writings totally broadens your perspective on life and sentence structure and communicating effectively…the benefits are endless.

In January I set a reading challenge for myself on Goodreads to read 20 books this year. I’m currently at 15 so I’m almost to my goal! Squeezing 5 books into 2 months may be a challenge, but I’m pushing to meet my goal. Goodreads, as a side note, is a great way to keep you motivated to read. It’s basically a social media platform for readers and book lovers. I love it!

2. Write More

Some people are disciplined enough to write on a schedule. I’m not that person, although one of my next steps will be implementing a more consistent writing schedule. For this year, I simply challenged myself to write more, whether it be on my blog or in my journal. I made sure to express via writing at least once or twice a week. I’ve definitely got to up my game, but this is much more frequent than last year!

3. Study & Observe Others

I made it a point to study and observe other writers and bloggers to see how they do things. From time-to-time, I’ll just go check out someone’s website or Instagram or Twitter, to see how they implement their writing and blog posts in other forums. I’ve yet to quite figure out my full rhythm in this area, but I am learning the importance of figuring out some sort of routine as to how you integrate social media in with your writing and blog posts. Still much to learn in this area for me.

4. Get Training

In November 2014, I signed up for Compel Training – an online school of sorts for writers. There’s literally so much content that I’m always finding something new. Whenever I get some down time, I take an hour…or three to listen to some of the teachings, or join in on a forum discussion, or try one of the writing challenges. Every time I listen to a teaching, I take notes like I’m legit, in school and then I try and implement what I’ve just learned as soon as possible. Being in a community of writers and having this resource has been tremendous in my intentional efforts to grow as a writer.

5. Find Writing Mentors

I have a few writer friends that have been greatly instrumental and encouraging in my growth as a writer. It has been such a treat to have people who are ahead of me in their writing careers, give advice, share their journeys, and challenge me along the way.

I don’t think I’ve quite been as intentional with these relationships as I could, but even with the haphazard convos and interactions we have had, I’ve grown and been challenged greatly.

One of these writer-mentor-friends is Nicole Partridge, she co-wrote an amazing book called “Heart of A Lioness” about this lady named Irene Gleeson, who I wrote about here. Nicole has been so encouraging. She gave me a book called “Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life” by Dani Shapiro. It’s a memoir about the artistic process, the art of story telling, and advice on the craft of writing. I’m just digging into it and I already think it’s a must read for any writer.

So there you have it!

Those are 5 intentional steps I’ve taken this year to becoming a better writer. I’m sure many of you have others. If so, do comment and share any tips or ideas you may have below! I might just send you something special to help you along your writing journey! :) I love surprises and giving things away so why not make this a giveaway post while we’re at it?

Comment between now and Friday (Nov 6th) to enter!

  • Tonya
    November 6, 2015

    I know many times setting a reading or writing goal definitely helps me to acheive those goals, and most times in ways I never thought I could.

  • Jordan
    November 5, 2015

    Thanks for your post Kandis! This is very helpful as I have been wanting to put more time in both reading more and writing better! Now I have no excuse. Appreciate your insight and wisdom.

  • Niki
    November 4, 2015

    I definitely needed to read this blog. I think writing is a beautiful art form with endless possibilities. It allows you to inspire, create, imagine and give life to words. For me, writing in my journal or my idea book a few times a week help me. I’m able to express myself with such freedom. After reading this blog post, I realize I need to take my writing to another level starting with reading more. Thank you for the nuggets of wisdom Kandis.

  • Rhonda
    November 3, 2015

    Great list! So simple but so accurate. I’ve challenged myself to write at least one blog post a month and I almost succeeded. I skipped September (aah), but I’m back on it. I definitely need to read more although I’m in the middle of two books right now…almost done with one. I’m learning that I can’t wait to be inspired to write – I need to just do it and the inspiration and creativity will come with it. I’ll be sure to check out Compel Training and Still Writing. I need all the motivation I can get. The thought of writing books can be a daunting one, but I can’t wait to dive into it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Scott Rodriguez
    November 3, 2015

    Thank you for sharing with us. You sound a bit like your friend, Chrystal Evans Hurst, which is how I found you. “Writing” didn’t really occur to me until a few years ago, so I’m still taking it all in as a student, for the most part. But I would like to simply thank you for doing something I didn’t do…something along the lines of what Paul told Timothy. Thank you for not despising your own youth, or letting others do so. Blessings upon your camp…

  • Jonathan
    November 1, 2015

    Great read! Good job Kandis! I applaud you and the diligence you put into all your work! Eugene Wison is a great writing mentor of mine. Both of his books have served me with tons of inspiration for writing style. Thanks for your post!

  • Rachel
    October 31, 2015

    I love these tips, Kandis! I think reading more is a great one, and I’m trying to do more of it as well. I need to make the most of Goodreads like you have. My tip is to read your work aloud. It helps me vary my sentences and hear things my eyes miss when simply proof reading. And sometimes, setting a daily word count goal helps me to me plow through when I don’t feel “inspired.”