You may have the desire to be a writer, and you may have talent and skill. But at Writer’s Relief, we’ve been helping writers get published for over twenty-eight years, so we know that sometimes it takes more than desire, talent, and skill to create work that will stand out and catch an editor’s or agent’s attention. Here are 7 traits that mean you’ll be a better writer—and how you can develop them.
7 Traits That Mean You’ll Be A Better Writer
Disciplined. To be a better writer, you must focus on your craft—and on consistently planning for “butt in chair” time to write. If you’re too easily distracted, you’ll find yourself scrolling through your social media feeds, running errands, or bingeing the latest must-watch series instead of writing. If your writing commitment gets relegated to “I’ll work on it later” or “maybe tomorrow,” it’s not going to happen—other responsibilities will always get in the way. A disciplined writer sticks to a writing schedule, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes.
Detail-oriented. If you want to endear yourself to agents and editors, you’ll cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Edit, rewrite, and proofread your work multiple times. Carefully proofreading your final draft is one of the most important elements of good writing.
You also want to include details about your characters or setting that will bring your writing to life. What are your characters’ hobbies? Is it raining or sunny? And the way to become aware of these details is to be more…
Observant. By being present and observant, you’ll pick up on unspoken messages, overlooked details, and subtle cues you can use to give your writing more authenticity. Engage all your senses, spend time people-watching, and try using a sketchbook to capture what’s going on around you. And to be more observant, it’s important to be…
Curious. If you’re curious, you’ll never run out of things to write about—or unique ways to tell your story. Be open to experiences, ideas, and inspirations. When you’re observant, you notice the oddly dressed old woman sitting on the park bench. When you’re curious, you wonder why she’s there, why her socks don’t match, and why she’s alone. Notice what grabs your attention and be open-minded enough to discover why.
Enthusiastic Reader. Reading the work of other authors in your genre is a great way to improve your own writing. Discover what you like—or don’t like—in their work to determine how you might utilize this information when you write. You can also learn a lot from reading authors in other genres! An expanded reading list will expose you to a far wider range of topics, themes, and styles.
Language Geek. Knowing and using a variety of words and phrases will improve your writing and storytelling skills. The more you know about language and vocabulary, the better you’ll be at describing settings, emotions, and ideas. But keep in mind: writing isn’t about using the most complex, bombastic word when a simple word will suffice.
Persistent. According to author Richard Bach: A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. If your writing group’s critique of your work means you need to rewrite, you don’t give up on the piece—you uncap your red pen and start rewriting. The perfect word or ending may currently elude you, but you’ll keep on trying different phrases or conclusions until the right one clicks.
By developing these seven traits, you’ll improve your overall skills as a writer. And the better your writing, the better your chances of getting your work published—especially if you combine good writing with a great submission strategy! The experts at Writer’s Relief can help you pinpoint the best markets for your writing and boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Learn more about our services here.
Question: What trait makes YOU a better writer?