How to Be a Great Writer – 15 Lessons

How to Be a Great Writer

With over twelve years of experience writing and self-publishing eBooks I have compiled a list of ’15 Lessons on How to Be a Great Writer.’

1. To Become a Better Writer You Should Read More eBooks from your Chosen Genre / Category
Are you distracted by all the technical devices that seem permanently attached to you? If so, you may be limiting the amount of quality time that you could be devoting to reading more.

To learn how the best-selling authors from your preferred genre succeed you should plan on reading the top ten best-selling authors from your category. Study how they write, their style, character development and how they package their eBooks. As they say; ‘To be the best, you need to learn from the best!’

2. Develop a Mindset that is Prepared to Accept Failure
Not every eBook you write will be a best-seller or achieve 5 star reviews. You must prepare in case:

  • You fail to sell any eBooks immediately upon publication
  • Your first eBook fails to sell
  • You receive negative reviews
  • You receive criticism
  • Have bouts of writer’s block
  • You must keep your day job!

By preparing for the above you will be better prepared to handle failure. You can easily turn failure into success if you know how to deal with it and respond with optimism.

3. Accept that Good Editing Will Involve Removing Unnecessary Content
A good editor will rip through your manuscript and will not only add notes for improvement, they will also put entire marks removing certain characters and paragraphs and even chapters from your eBook. Focus on quality and not quantity.

4. Understand that Your eBook is Not for Everyone!
Writing an eBook is not for everyone. We all have preferred categories that we select eBooks from and there are some eBooks that may be best-sellers that we have no interest in. Be specific and narrow down your target audience and then write for them.

YA fiction readers may not like crime fiction eBooks. Adult fiction readers may not like sci-fi eBooks. Trying to please everyone will end up costing you as you try to cross over too many categories.

5. You Must Enjoy Writing
It still surprises me today when I hear from some authors that they do not enjoy writing. If you do not enjoy writing then why write? Writing to make money, to gain notoriety, to build your brand or for any other reason besides enjoyment will likely show through in your writing.

6. You Don’t Have to Achieve Honors in English Class at High school to Write an eBook
I always put my hand up when it comes to falling short in the technical aspects of writing. You can still be creative and become a best-selling author even if you lack the writing skills. Don’t get caught up in spelling and grammar. This is why there are editors!

7. Know Your Style and Be Unique
A common mistake is for authors to try and model their writing style on their favorite author. This is good to a certain extent. The problem arises when you try to use the same fancy words they do and go outside of your comfort zone.

To stand out you must be unique and have your own style. If you don’t stand out then you will blend in with the millions of other authors out there trying to write like their favorite author.

8. Let Your Imagination Run Wild
If you get too caught up in offending someone or having to be politically correct all the time then you may lose the ability to describe and portray your story in a compelling way. Were there some people offended by the content in Fifty Shades of Grey? You bet there were.

Did some people dislike the story in The Hunger games? Of course!  Do you have your own personal filter’ when you write? If this is you then your writing will lack clarity and controversy.

9. When Writing, Forget About the Real World
Everyday stresses and events can impact on your creativity and writing. You must find the right time and space to sit down to write with privacy.

When people read, they often do so because it takes them to another place and far away from everyday reality. You should enter this world when writing fiction. Your goal is to make your reader forget that he or she is reading a story.

10. The World Can be Scary Place and So Can Your Story!
Some authors are criticized because of the content of their eBook. Silence of the Lambs was incredibly graphic but it is what actually happens in the real world. When I wrote my first crime fiction eBook I included a graphic scene and thought that it would be too graphic for readers. But I realized that unfortunately the scene I described actually occurs in real life.

11. Your Characters are What Captures the Reader’s Imagination
Readers will connect, associate and bond with the characters in your eBook. This is why authors such as James Patterson and Stephen King have achieved such success with their series. Your characters must be unique, compelling, different, believable, identifiable, and potentially controversial and be like no other character found in any other eBook.

12. Write Every Day
When you are on a roll you want to write. If you consistently take time off writing then you will lose track of the story and the development of your characters will suffer.

13. Self-Publishing is More than Just Writing
Let’s remind you of just some of the departments we list in our Academy that all self-published authors need to address.

And many more!

If you are going to self-publish then you must be prepared to wear many hats. The success of your eBook will come down to how well you market and promote your eBook directly to your target audience.

14. The More You write the Greater Your Chance of Becoming a Best-seller!
One common belief first-time authors have is that every best-selling author achieved success with their first eBook. The majority of authors did not achieve great success with their first eBook. The more you write the better you will get. The more you write the greater visibility you will have among your target audience.

15. Never Stand Still!

  • To become a great writer you must always:
  • Be willing to continue learning
  • Keep writing
  • Keep learning how to connect with your audience
  • Continue to promote your eBooks
  • Enjoy writing (sure, you will have frustrating moments)
  • Be prepared to ask for help
  • Be prepared to network and meet new people
  • Connect with new segments of your audience who do not know about you
  • Evolve and accept new platforms that connect with your readers