This Is What You Need to Do to Write Better, Faster

Writing is the act of structuring thought.

1) Great Writing Starts with Active Reading

As a writer, reading is the foundation of your craft. Reading won’t make your ideas less original, though it might expose that your ideas were never that original. After all, writing is about cultivating your unique voice and perspective, not about being the first to do something.

2) Never Start with a Blank Page

But if you take avid notes on everything you read, when it’s time to start writing, you should never have to start from scratch.

3) Set Your Intention

Intention = Active Verb + Question

4) Organize Your Information

The best way to group ideas is to organize your notes by theme, underlying question, or interconnection. Create titles and subtitles for them, even if you plan to eliminate them later. This forces to you to consider what belongs and what doesn’t.

5) Revise as Thoroughly as You Write

The best writers I know are in fact superb editors. They are varied and open-minded in the techniques they apply and cutthroat in their approach to highlighting central questions, ideas, and arguments.

6) Find a Strong Designated Reader

Good readers don’t have to be good writers, and in fact, many of my best readers are not writers at all. They are focused on helping you say what you want to say as effectively as possible, and letting you know where you do and where you don’t.

7) Practice

Don’t worry about being good. Worry about whether you’re learning.

Parting Words



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