5 Tips for Becoming a Great Author

People have different ideas about what it means to be a great and successful writer. For some aspiring writers, success is equivalent to becoming a published author with their novel present on the New York Times bestseller list.

For others, becoming a great author could simply be about writing fiction or nonfiction and making a living out of it. Perhaps getting their work published in a newspaper or magazine is what makes them a great author.

However, despite what anyone says, there is no surefire step-by-step writing guide that can automatically turn you into the next great author. Instead, what we do have are some simple and actionable steps that, if you follow them diligently, can put you in the best position for success.

So, let’s take a look at the five tips you should follow for becoming a great author, whether your goal is to be a published novelist or a newspaper column writer.

1.    Write on a Daily Basis

This tip is based on the writing strategy developed by Peter Elbow back in 1973, known as “Freewriting”, and it’s quite similar to brainstorming. Essentially, you have to make some time every day for freewriting. This process could be between 15 minutes to an hour or even longer if you have time.

A writer’s journal

Freewriting is much like brainstorming, but you write sentences and paragraphs without stopping. It’s designed to increase your flow of ideas and reduce the risk of you accidentally censoring a good idea.

Furthermore, it helps increase your fluency and the ability to produce written language easily. In other words, freewriting involves writing down every crazy idea you can think of without having to worry about spelling or correct grammar.

Experts at MasterClass also recommend writing every single day as an effective habit for becoming a better writer. Becoming a great author can only be achieved through hard work and consistency.

2.    Start Writing Characters

Margaret Atwood, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, is among the most influential literary figures of this generation, and her writing process doesn’t start with ideas, but with characters. She believes that since ideas are discovered later, it’s the characters that the readers get to meet first.

She draws inspiration from voices she’s heard, objects, and even scenes. Her perspective is that readers don’t pick up a book in search of a theme. Rather, they want memorable characters in a compelling story, so it’s important to start with that.

3.    Develop Good Writing Habits

This one might sound general but allow us to explain. Novice writers mostly start out while balancing their writing with numerous other responsibilities. You may have to write for years while also working, raising a family, etc.

So, you must learn how to juggle your writing with other stuff that will demand your time and attention. A good way to achieve balance is by setting aside consistent time slots for writing. It’s possible that you have a day job and other responsibilities so you’ll only find time to write at night.

You must be disciplined in your approach to writing and not just think about writing when you have free time or when you feel like it. In short, developing good writing habits is all about consistency and prioritizing your writing time.

4.    Don’t Give in to Completion Fear

Many authors, when it comes to writing novels, give in to completion fear, which is the fear of finishing your manuscript and discovering that it’s not as good as you thought. If, as a writer, you’re struggling with this fear, just focus on finishing the manuscript.

Keep in mind that you’ll have endless opportunities to edit and revise your draft. However, finishing your first draft is crucial because then you’ll be able to read it from a reader’s perspective.

A writer typing on their laptop

5.    Building a Relationship with A Professional Editor

Editors have a crucial role to play in your book’s publishing process. With professional book editing services, you can turn your promising manuscript into a best-selling novel. However, writers who are just starting may not be able to access professional editors easily.

Yet, even if you’re self-publishing, you can find the best fiction book editing services that are affordable too. It’s important to ensure that the editor you’re working with has some experience working in the same genre as you.

You shouldn’t just look for qualifications but also communicate your expectations and look for a personal connection. It’s important to find a collaborative partner since a good connection between the author and editor can make a huge difference in what is sure to be an intense process.

Writer working on a typewriter

In conclusion, becoming a great author will take a lot of hard work, consistency, and collaborative effort with your editor. However, it’s quite achievable if you stick to perfecting your craft. Happy writing!

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