When I was writing the first Write Better book, I asked real people how they felt about writing. From reading out loud to favourite fonts, here’s 33 quick writing tips from everyday writers.  

3 important bits

Get some words on the page and then make them better

Read what you write out loud
Get someone else to look at it


1. “Start! Just start! And try not to edit as you go.”

2. “I love to write in 12pt Times New Roman. I feel professional when I use it.”

3. “Try and write like you would speak.”

4. “The word ‘that’ is almost always unnecessary.”

5. “Get your thoughts on the page, then edit later once you’ve had a break.”

6. “Always print a hard copy and read it out loud before publishing.”

7. “Reading backwards, from the last sentence to the first. It forces you to really look at each sentence structure, independent of the rest.”

8. “Short sentences! Fewer than 26 words unless an exceptional circumstance.”

9. “Just get something down, so you’ve got something to work with.”

10. “Get used to writing with the proofing tools on in Microsoft Word; it really helps!”

11. “Use auto Spellcheck.”

12. “Give yourself enough time, rushing doesn’t deliver your best work.”

13. “Don’t proof read straight away, proof read the next day if possible. New ideas and a fresh  pair of eyes makes all the difference.”

“14. Try writing using pen and paper first if you’re hashing out an idea.”

15. “Write it all, let it gush out and go back and edit ruthlessly later. The second I edit or rearrange thoughts on the fly the train comes to a halt.”

16. “Write lots. Get other people to read it and tell you what they think it means.”

17. “Every line has to pay its way.”

18. “Show up (at the same time each day).”

19. “Sleep on it before you hit submit.”

20. “Grab the reader early and less is more.”

21. “Spelling ‘rules’ (like i before e except after c) are not helpful. There are more words that go against the rule. I love the idea of avoiding the word ‘very’ so we should choose a more accurate word to suit the purpose. I’m very interested to know what others write in answer to this question!”

22. “Re-writing is more important than the first draft, and writing without the editing hat on results in better outcomes.”

23. “Say what you’re going to say. Say it. Say what you said.”

24. “Learn the difference between there/their/they’re, your/you’re, then/than etc.”

25. “Make a dot point framework for your document first. Then just fill in with more detail once you have a clear roadmap!”

26. “Write tight!”

27. “Get someone else to edit.”

28. “Work out your goal and then work backwards to an engaging opening.”

29. “Correct spelling and grammar are still important, but those skills are fading fast in the world of current “instant” electronic publication. If something has errors, I’m likely to not take that work seriously. Either the author has rushed and doesn’t care, or is just ignorant to begin with! Rant over…”

30. “I’m too damn verbose, brevity is a serious skill.”

31. “Read as much and as widely as you can if you want to improve your writing – you can’t write what you haven’t read!”

32. “Get the basics first. Get your story straight in your head before you start writing. It can change as you write, but have a goal in mind to begin with.”

33. “Read, read, and read some more. Read in the style you want to write at the quality you want to produce.”


What’s your favourite writing tip? Any you disagree with? Tell us below or email hello@writebetter.com.au