13 unique and effective writing tips: your guide to leveling up in 2024

Discover proven ways to find success and joy in writing at every stage of your journey. It's time to find your voice, build skills for a lifetime, connect with readers, and advance your writing career. 

13 unique and effective writing tips: your guide to leveling up in 2024

Discover proven ways to find success and joy at every stage of your journey. It's time to unleash your voice, build skills for a lifetime, connect with readers, and advance your writing career. 

my name is Julie Tyler 

As the founder of StoryBold and the creator of the Author Exchange, I have dedicated my life to telling stories and helping others do the same.

how to use this writing guide 

These 13 tips distill my best writing advice into a guide you can read in minutes and use to improve your writing.

Writers who've applied these tips have gone on to land agents and book deals, get paid to write, launch platforms, and become leaders in their field.   

These tips go beyond generic writing advice and cover all areas of succeeding as a writer, from feeling more inspired to navigating the ever-changing publishing industry.

Read this page to discover the most important actions to take in your writing life and the tangible results you can get.

1. tell the truth. 

This directive might sound simple and obvious, given that we writers operate in good faith and don't set out to deceive our readers. In a writing context, telling the truth means several things that we'll need to explore:

  • Authenticity and¬†writing in alignment with your values, beliefs, and worldview, even when you write in a genre like fantasy, which isn't based on factual accuracy.¬†
  • Exploring the human condition honestly,¬†by acknowledge the joys, sorrows, failures, and triumphs of what it means to be human, as well as grappling with the ambiguities and contradictions of the human experience.¬†
  • Presenting¬†facts, particularly in nonfiction, related to your topic.¬†

Showing up on the page to tell the truth requires courage and practice, and with time, you can become a voice of wisdom and integrity that readers trust.

2. reclaim your creativity. 

Creativity is something every human innately possesses. Creativity has many definitions, like manifesting something from nothing, bringing an idea to life, working in the arts, coming up with unique or unexpected combinations, or coming up with an original or perhaps unconventional solution to a problem. 

The problem is: as adults we get tend to dissociate from these innate abilities. Some reasons might be that we've pursued a "practical" career path that takes a lot of our energy, or that we don't take the time to nurture our creativity. 

To write your best, you'll need to reclaim the creativity you were born with and be intentional about using it. Here are examples of what this looks like:

  • Approach your writing with playfulness and curiosity. Ask yourself,¬†"What's going to come up today in my writing session? Let's see!"
  • Experiment with¬†writing styles are¬†unfamiliar to you, without focusing (at first) on the quality of your output.¬†
  • Engage with works of art in different disciplines, such as attending a play or choral performance, visiting an art gallery, or taking a dance class.¬†

By reclaiming your creativity, you bring variety and spontaneity to your writing endeavors. 

learn more about your innate creativity with my complimentary video training.  

This training offers you an exciting method for redefining what it means to be creative. It also includes a four-part strategy for unlocking more of your power to bring new stories into existence. 

3. set (and memorize) a big writing goal  

You likely already know that goal setting helps you get things done. The trick is to articulate your writing goal in clear, specific terms. For example, setting a goal to "write a book" could become "write a scintillating thriller set in my hometown."

You also need to make your goal bigger than what feels "realistic," so that it prompts you to push past your current limits and make bold moves. For example, if your goal is to publish that scintillating thriller, consider expanding your goal to one of these:

  • "Find a great publisher that champions every¬†thriller I write."
  • "Build a large audience of ideal readers and publish my thriller under my own brand."¬†

When you're happy with your big, specific writing goal, memorize it. That way, you can recall and recite it when challenges inevitably arise and keep yourself on track. 

Then, identify the specific tasks that will get you to this goal, such as plotting the story and writing a weekly quota.  

4. keep a journal and write in it often.

Journaling refers to the practice of regularly writing down your thoughts, ideas, goals, memories, and happenings of your life. For our purposes here, journaling is separate from your official writing projects, but a practice that will greatly enhance your writing endeavors. Here are some enhancements to look forward to: 

  • It gets you in the habit of expressing yourself in writing. Even short,¬†basic journal entries are valuable in establishing a practice.¬†¬†
  • You can explore ideas for new writing projects and track the progress you make on ongoing ones.¬†
  • You can practice telling the truth in your journal, without the pressure of appealing to an audience.¬†
  • You can find and strengthen your unique voice, one entry at a time.¬†¬†

There are many ways to journal, from scribbling in a plain notebook to using planners, prompts, and other reflective tools. You can even install a journaling app on your smartphone and complete your entries on the go. 

launch your new journaling practice or rekindle an existing practice with The SoulTruth Journal, my workbook for writers. 

Get your free sample by filling out the form below.  

5. create a writing routine you can sustain.

"Write every day" is a piece of writing advice you'll find all over the internet. While doing so can certainly help you build volume and hone craft, you may not be able to sustain a daily routine, if you have other responsibilities, such as a family or employment. Even so, you can still succeed as a writer, by making the most of the time you do have. 

Here's how:

  • Take a good look at your weekly schedule for recurring time slots you can designate for writing, such as Mondays and Wednesdays at 5 pm or every Saturday morning.
  • Block off these areas of your calendar, using a program like Google or Apple Calendar, and adjust the settings to get notified via email when each writing session is about to begin. ¬†
  • Make the most of every session by setting intentions, such as "outline chapter three" or "explore a new character."¬†¬†

Establishing a sustainable writing routine that fits harmoniously alongside your other priorities can actually increase your productivity, reduce stress and overwhelm, and help you make meaningful progress toward those big writing goals. 

6. study the craft of your genre.

In a writing context, craft refers to the techniques and strategies you use to convey meaning with words. No matter our level of writing experience, training, or raw talent, we all need to study craft to mature as wordsmiths. When you match your creativity and passion with skills you've mastered through study and practice, you unlock your full writing potential. 

The specific techniques and strategies you need to study depend on the genre in which you write.

For example, if you write fiction, your lessons in craft will include character development and plotting, while writing prescriptive nonfiction would mean learning how to intertwine your personal experience, research, and actionable advice. 

Here's how to begin your craft study:

  • Take courses on your genre's techniques.
  • Read works by¬†the best writers in your genre and reverse engineer their techniques.
  • Subscribe to writing blogs, podcasts, or other resources.
  • Connect with other writers in your genre.

7. join a writing community.

Being a part of a community of writers is one of the best things you can do for your writing life. A good writing community offers: 

  • Emotional, creative, and professional support
  • Conversations about craft
  • Qualified feedback on your ideas and rough drafts (See Tip No. 8).
  • Answers to your writing questions.¬†

When seeking your tribe, look for these qualities:

  • An active group that holds regular events, online or in person
  • A knowledgeable and organized leader
  • Agendas for meetings, such as¬†workshops on specific topics, peer reviews, critique sessions, or roundtable discussions
  • A requirement that members share their work and contribute to discussions.¬†

Joining a writing community that exhibits these qualities can help you stay accountable to the big, specific writing goals you've set and stick to the routine you've established. You can also make some really good friends!

learn more about my community, the Author Exchange! 

We're looking for committed writers of fiction and nonfiction to join our weekly sessions: critiques, craft workshops, and more. 

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8. seek qualified feedback and offer it to others.

In a writing context, qualified feedback refers to the constructive criticism, detailed impressions and commentary, and other responses that an experience, trained writer offers about your work.

Qualified feedback is valuable because it helps you:

  • Find¬†out what areas of your writing resonate with others¬†
  • Seize opportunities to improve your writing
  • Come up with specific actions you can take to advance your goals

When you reach a point when it's time to receive feedback, seek people who:

  • Identify as writers themselves
  • Continue mastering their craft
  • Have taken courses or attended conferences
  • Can address the specifics of your project like the construction of your plot, the motives of the characters, the dialogue, pacing, and more

Offering others qualified feedback is something you should practice often. Make it your goal to get better at pinpointing strengths and opportunities in others' writing, while understanding their intentions and avoiding unnecessary negativity. This endeavor will raise your own awareness of craft, sharpen your ability to speak effectively about writing, and position you as a credible voice in this field. 

9. fall in love with the writing process.

The writing process refers to all the steps you undertake to complete a given writing project. If you're writing a book, the process begins the moment the idea comes to you and lasts all the way through planning, outlining, drafting, revising, fine-tuning, and finally getting the book into readers' hands. 

When you find value in every stage and enjoy writing each time to you sit down to do it, you are more likely to stick to your routine and follow through with your ideas. 

Every stage of the writing process offers you something to look forward to. Here are a few examples:

  • Inspiration, which I would classify as the very first stage of any process, helps you launch and fuels you through the stages that follow.
  • Building volume,¬†which is often the longest stage, is when you turn all of your plans and ideas into what will become a reading experience.¬†¬†
  • Project launch, the very final stage, allows you to inspire others for generations to come.¬†

10. read voraciously in your genre.

In general, voracious reading in all genres is a crucial component of a vibrant writing life, because it puts you in touch with authors who are succeeding and the techniques they use to educate and inspire their readers. To excel in your genre, such as contemporary fiction or self-help nonfiction, you'll need to prioritize reading new releases in the genre. 

These are also called comparison titles or comp titles.  

Here are some of the benefits of this practice:

  • You gain insight into where your work fits in the market.
  • You can identify gaps in the market, topics and approaches that no one has covered, and then fill those gaps.¬†
  • You can have productive conversations with literary agents and publishers, who are interested in the quality and salability of your work.¬†¬†

To find comparison titles, you can search the internet or book-focused sites like GoodReads, using the genre itself + "new releases" + the current as your search term. For example, "contemporary fiction new releases 2024."

11. monitor the publishing industry.

The publishing industry refers to the vast network of publishing houses, authors, bloggers, editors, writing conferences, professional organizations, writing mentors, and other entities that are involved in producing and selling written material. 

As a writer, you are a part of the publishing industry and have a stake in how it operates. Monitoring it can offer several benefits, including:

  • Keeping track of emerging trends
  • Getting inspired by the successes of debut authors
  • Weighing your publishing options¬†
  • Developing your writing skills¬†¬†

There are several ways you can monitor the publishing industry. If you want the inside scoop on book deals, industry news, bestsellers, and more, subscribe to Publisher's Marketplace. 

You can also leverage social media to connect with fellow writers, industry leaders, literary agencies, developmental editors, book coaches, and avid readers. Follow their accounts and consume their content to get a feel for opportunities you can seize. 

Consider attending a writing conference to interact, face-to-face, with agents and acquisition editors. Oftentimes, a conference will feature seminars and presentations on the latest publishing industry developments, as well as offer you the chance to pitch your work, face-to-face, to agents and editors. 

12. cultivate a business mindset. 

A business mindset refers to the strategic thinking, professionalism, and resourcefulness you bring to your work as a writer. You don't need business experience to leverage the mindset of an entrepreneur and give yourself an edge in a competitive field.

Start by reading voraciously in your genre and studying the publishing industry, which we've already discussed. Develop these additional business skills to complement your writing abilities: 

  • Conducting market research to understand your target readers¬†¬†
  • Promoting your work effectively across multiple channels
  • Making calculated investments in your career development
  • Looking for opportunities to generate¬†an income¬†from your writing

Combining your business and creative sensibilities can lead to a thriving writing career and even commercial success. 

13. prepare to pivot. 

The world of writing and publishing changes every day, and as a writer, you'll need to be able to adapt to change with grace and resilience. 

Let's consider two examples:

  • New technologies like AI are already shifting how people generate content.¬†While you don't have to become a tech whiz,¬†you should¬†familiarize yourself with AI, to make an informed decision about how (and whether) to use it.
  • Readers' tastes¬†are always changing in response to the evolving social and political climate. While you don't need to glue your eyes to the news 24/7, you can monitor current events and reader sentiment periodically to better understand your market.

Commit to your goals, your process, and your routine for the long haul, and remain flexible in your strategy for success. Always be ready to build new skills, master new technologies, and get to know your readers.  

next step: connect with me

In reading this guide, you've probably identified actions to take to improve your writing and achieve your goals. Maybe you want to read a few comparison titles, sign up for a novel writing course, or register for a writing conference. 

In every case, I can help you execute and get results. Let's connect.

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The StoryBold Library launches May 31! 

The StoryBold Library is filled with articles on the hottest topics in the writing world! It will be your resource hub for mastering craft, building a powerful mindset, publishing their work, and developing a writing career. Each article offers writing tips you can consume in just a few minutes and apply to your projects to see results.

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