If You Want to Become a Better Writer, Read

Books are a great way to massively boost your creativity.

Matt Lillywhite
Jul 14, 2020 · 4 min read
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Photo by Mariah Hewines on Unsplash

How often do you find yourself wanting to improve your writing?

It’s a common problem that many people face. After all, you want to write great articles, books, and spend each day doing something you genuinely love. But for one reason or another, you have no idea how to start.

I know exactly how you feel. For the longest time, my writing was incredibly mediocre. But when I started implementing writing techniques from famous authors, the quality of my work exponentially improved. The author, James Clear, said it best:

So if you want to become a better writer, here’s what you need to do.

Start By Surrounding Yourself With Authors You Admire.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” — Stephen King

Who inspires you? Which authors make you think differently? Read their work as frequently as possible.

Allow yourself to feel inspired by every word, sentence, and paragraph. Immerse yourself in a beautifully written book, and enjoy every moment from start to finish.

This strategy worked wonders for me when I started writing. Within a matter of days, I quickly found myself coming up with ideas much quicker and genuinely looked forward to writing something that other people would want to read.

So why is reading a variety of content important? It lets you explore a wide range of vocabulary, sentence structures, and ways of telling a story.

Sure, reading one book is great. But when you discover a variety of new books, you’ll quickly find yourself thinking outside of the box and using your imagination in an entirely different way. Like Dr. Seuss once said:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

I’m currently in Paris. I write in the mornings and spend the afternoon walking along the River Seine with the Eiffel Tower standing tall in the background. It’s beautiful.

During my walks, I’ll often listen to an audiobook because it’s lovely to enjoy a piece of writing while admiring this incredible city. As a result, I continually feel inspired to write, create, and share my thoughts with the world.

Creativity occurs when you feel inspired by various authors and then add your own experience and emotions to write something incredible. So if you want to become a lot more creative, surrounding yourself with famous authors is undoubtedly a great way to start.

Then, Implement Successful Writing Techniques Into Your Own Work.

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ―Darren Hardy

Once you’ve started a daily reading habit, take a moment to identify several writing techniques from the authors you admire. What tone of voice do they use? Why do you feel compelled to read each paragraph? How do they structure their work?

You get the idea. Find what makes their writing great, and then find ways to implement similar strategies into your own work.

For example, I love Ryan Holiday’s informal writing style. It flows extremely well. So over the past few months, I’ve started to write in a way that feels natural to me. As a result, I’ve found that it’s much easier to create new content each day.

When you adopt the writing habits of the person you want to be, you’ll quickly find yourself making a lot more progress in your writing career than you ever thought possible.

Because even if the quality of your writing improves by just 1% each day, the power of compound interest will create an incredibly successful career over time. John Maxwell said it best:

“If you start today to do the right thing, you are already a success even if it doesn’t show yet.”

So every day, ask yourself: “What habits can I implement right now to exponentially improve the quality of my writing?”

Do that, and every aspect of your writing career will quickly improve for the better.

Starting now.

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