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Ten Steps to Become a Better Writer

Ten Steps to Become a Better Writer

by Joan Y. Edwards

1. Each time you rewrite, say to yourself, “I am getting better and better.” Have a special hat or shirt to wear when you are writing.

2. Write something. Rewrite it. Let it rest for 7 days (in a special place). Then get it out and read it over again

3. Use the computer to write and rewrite your stories. That way you can save each changed version of the story with a date. Some people write better with pencil or pen. Honor the way you work best.

4. Read your story out loud. You may hear the mistakes you don’t see. Record it on tape and listen to it. Make notes of what you want to change.

5. Form a writing group with 2 or 3 other people. Listen to what others say. Ask them to tell you things they don’t understand in your story. Make notes. When you ask others if they like your story, be ready to accept a YES or a NO answer. You have to honor their opinion. If people do not like your story, it does not mean they do not like you.

6. When rewriting, choose to change only those items you think will add to the story. If someone tells you, if I was writing the story I would…you don’t have to do it. You are the writer of your story. Ultimately, the choice of words in your story is up to you.

7. Even authors who have had books published find things they want to change in their stories. Be pleased with how you have improved from the beginning. Be kind to yourself.

8. Reward yourself for each step you take. For each time you rewrite a story, put a penny in a jar, enjoy your favorite game, or serve popcorn as you read it to others. Don’t wait for someonelse to reward you. Do it yourself.

9. Believe in yourself. Say, “I am a writer. I am an author. I am a published author. I am a paid published author. I am an author of a book on the New York Best Sellers list.”

10. Set your goals. “Hitch your wagon to a star. Take a seat and there you are.” Focus. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from your goal. If people say that you can’t do it, show them you can. Use your talents to reach your goal. Never give up, no matter what happens. You are the only one who can stop you from reaching your goal

Thanks for reading my blog.

I would be very grateful if you sign up for an email subscription from the left hand column.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2004-2011 Joan Y. Edwards


6 Responses

  1. Great advice Joan. Each morning, well almost, part of my mantra is: My efforts are blessed beyond my wildest dreams; I am a successful author, ghostwriter, and freelance writer.

    Positive projection works. But be careful to be specific. You notice I didn’t say “a great author.” or the “best author.” 🙂 I’ve also neglected to specify in what genre I’d be a successful author which may inhibit its success.

    Maybe I should tweak my mantra.

    Who knows, but I am a working writer, so some of its working!


    • Dear Karen,
      Thanks for stopping by. I love your morning mantra, especially the part, “My efforts are blessed beyond my wildest dreams.” That is true, we need to be as specific as we can, yet leave it general enough to make it happen. Great and best are opinions that can’t be spelled out. Using words to put images in your mind, works. Have fun being you today!


  2. Hi Joan,

    I like all the positive self-talk. One thing I think might be helpful with #5 is to ask was there any part of the story that didn’t work for you? What did you see as a problem there? Perhaps those questions would help the reader to do a better critique. What do you think?

    Linda A.


  3. […] Ten Steps to Become a Better Writer (joanyedwards.wordpress.com) […]


  4. Joan, I love your “mantra,” too: Never give up. Every time I see your email come in, it helps to boost my self-confidence.


    • Dear Barbara,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you love my “mantra” Never Give Up. Flip Flap Floodle, the picture book, I wrote and illustrated reminds you to Never Give Up on your song. Keep a vision of your having a picture of your published book in your hands. Focus on what you want.
      Good luck in all of your life’s goals.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards


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