Ten Tips for Being a Good Writer

biblepages1. Get in touch with God.

God is the ultimate source of all good things. He can enrich your writing. He can put you in the right place at the right time to make the right contacts to get your book where He wants it to be. He can inspire you when you feel dry. He knows who He wants to reach with what He’s called you to write, and He can open doors you didn’t even know existed (or couldn’t believe would ever be opened to you). Spend focused quiet time with Him daily to get His instructions for the day. When you’re feeling uninspired, ask Him for a spiritual boost.

2. Read.

Read books on how to write. Read books in your genre. Read books outside your genre. Study books you like and figure out what makes them so good. Analyze books you don’t like and try to assess why. Look for specific writing techniques in books written by popular authors.

3. Connect with other writers.

Join one or more writers’ groups, in person and/or online. Read writers’ blogs. Join or start a critique group. Attend writers’ conferences. Make friends with aspiring and established authors, and keep in touch.

4. Pay attention.

Wherever you are, listen to how people talk and act. Take detailed notes of your surroundings (mentally or on paper). Consider how to describe smells and tastes. Pick up on details that can enrich your writing.

5. Eat healthy.

If you’re feeling physically sluggish, your mind won’t be as sharp as it could be. Your imagination won’t come up with good material as easily, and you won’t catch obvious typos, inconsistencies, and errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. A healthy diet will do far more for you than sugar and caffeine!

6. Get physical.

Don’t spend all day sitting at your computer. Your body and your brain will turn to mush. You don’t need to join a gym or buy expensive equipment. Just take breaks throughout the day—get up, walk around (not just to the refrigerator), climb a flight of stairs. Take a walk in the park or at the mall or around your neighborhood. Getting some physical exercise during the day will help you sleep at night, and you’ll awaken more refreshed.

7. Laugh out loud.

Laughter refreshes the soul. Writing tends to deplete your energy, and a good laugh can replenish it. In addition to reading serious books, pick up a humor book now and then. Watch a comedy movie or a TV sitcom.

8. Hang out with loved ones.

Don’t become so focused on writing that you ignore your family and friends. Occasional distractions are good. Relationships are important. Your spouse and children deserve at least as much attention as your hero and heroine. (And people can provide great fodder for your book, no matter what genre you’re writing in!)

9. Experience life.

Writing is a creative art form. You can spark your writing creativity by engaging in other art forms. Go dancing or take dance lessons. Visit museums. Tour a garden. Learn to paint, knit, crochet, sculpt, make a quilt, scrapbook, take interesting photographs—engage in any hobby you find fun or relaxing.

10. Write.

Write something every day. Because writers write. (If you can go for a long time without writing, you may not be a writer after all.)