10 Ways to Improve Your Writing Right now!

Come on. Really?

I know you’ve seen them. Those posts with titles like: “10 Tips to Improve Your Writing!” or “Five Things You’re Doing Wrong as a Writer…and how to Fix Them!”. These are unavoidable if you spend any time browsing on WordPress. And they just make me laugh.

Because reading what amounts to a list is not going to improve your writing. And I really hope you don’t think it will. First off, who came up with the list? And second, how do you know if it can really be applied to you? It’s like giving EVERYONE the exact same advice, without taking into account the fact that no two individuals are the same. Hopefully you don’t read or write those posts, but good luck to you if you do.

On this day in 2014 I published Picking Your Reading Device.


27 thoughts on “10 Ways to Improve Your Writing Right now!

  1. The ones I just *love* are the “Top X Signs That You’re a Writer.” Um… if you write, you’re a writer. It’s pretty simple.

    But then again, this is coming from the same crowd that brought us the #AmWriting hashtag. In truth, it should read #AmWastingTimeOnTwitterInsteadOfWriting.


  2. Bah! I don’t write them, but I have read a few. And regret it each time. It’s always super obvious advice, like: “The more you write, the better you write.” Umm… duh? Thanks for that, Captain Obvious, I thought my writing would get worse if I wrote more.


  3. I am so guilty of reading these lists. I finally stopped when I read an authors article that in short said to stop researching writing and just write. Best advice ever. Great post! 🙂


  4. Great to see that there are other people that think the same way! By its very definition, you’re a writer if you WRITE. There’s no specific way that makes you one, and there is definitely not a definitive list to tell you what you can improve on. You find that out as you write! You figure out what’s best for YOU, not someone who’s experience is entirely different to your own
    End this listing madness now 😛


  5. I was careful to write, “How can I be a better writer?” rather than giving advice. It was also important to me to say something unique and different. I agree with you John, these lists are ubiquitous and trite and even more so from newbies. And it’s not that I don’t think they have something to offer, but I think you have to be real careful in “giving advice” and telling us “how tos”…everyone wants to be an expert.


  6. I will occasionally use a list format because it helps me organize my thoughts better. My posts often get lengthy. However, I pretty much never write a post unless I feel I have something original to say. That’s one of the reasons my posting schedule is so erratic – I’m not going to waste space on someone’s blogroll by posting generic crap everyone’s read a hundred times.

    Plus, there’s something inherently clickbaity about titles like “9 things you already know but I’m going to trick you into thinking it’s original this time!”


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