I write a lot. I write client emails. I write web copy. I write blog articles (oh hello there). It’s my job, and it’s my passion, so I’d like to think I’m pretty good at it.

But I want to get better.

So, I decided to interview ten writers I admire, from different roles, industries, and genres. Each offered a piece of wisdom too great not to share.

10 tips on how to become a better writer

1. Know your stuff

“Before you write a sentence, research. People read and when they read, you have influence over how they think, feel, and act. You owe your readers to do the work.” — Margo Aaron, Writer & Creator

2. Find a mentor

Having a good editor who didn’t just fix my pieces, but rather suggested changes and showed the reasoning behind it, made me a much better writer.” — Kaleigh Moore, Freelance Writer

3. Choose simple over smart

That shouldn’t be your goal. Write so everyone can understand what you’re saying. Write at the simplest level.” — Kristen Herhold, Content Developer and Marketer

4. Clients buy ownership

“You don’t own the words you give to the client. They might mangle the words you give them, but that’s their right. They’re paying you for the service and once you produce it, it’s theirs. Of course, It’s a harsh reality, but coming to grips with it makes it easier to let your work go.” — Luke Trayser, Senior Copywriter

5. Embrace ambiguity

“Don’t force a tiny box to fit a bigger idea. It’s okay to describe an experience or tell a story without landing on one universal insight. ” — Carly Ho, Senior Engineer & Freelance Writer

6. Play around

“Learn to just have fun with language. Riff for a while without the intention of a presenting or fully developing anything. If you’re having fun and playing around with what you’re writing, you can get creativity flowing more easily. Soon, you’ll see patterns develop around a concept that you can lean into and clean up.” — Bryant Harland, Senior Marketing Content Writer

7. Live a little

“Make friends and collect stories. Writing is lonely and tiresome. ” — Callum Sharp, Freelance Writer

8. Just write

“Writer’s block is bullshit; it’s a story that we tell ourselves. Most of the time it’s not good, but everybody’s first draft is a steaming pile of garbage. Creativity on demand is a muscle, and the more you build it, the easier it will come.” — Paul Jarvis, Designer, Author, and Creator

9. Show, don’t tell

“Quote don’t summarize. Show don’t tell. Describe what happened to you and the readers will feel what you felt. ” — James Peterson, Former Senior Editor at Playboy

10. Write and repeat

Experiment until you feel comfortable; that’s when you know you’ve found the right voice for you. Tune out people who say ‘you shouldn’t’ or ‘you can’t.’ With writing, you can do anything.” — James Gordon, Writer & Poet

Throughout this project, I learned a lot. The biggest thing? Writing isn’t math. It’s not formulaic. Everyone I interviewed had different perspectives, processes, and rules on writing, with one thing in common: we are writers because we write.

To be, you just need to do.

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