Is My Writing Good Enough?
How to improve your writing
Embarking on the writer’s journey is an exhilarating yet often daunting endeavour, and it’s normal to ask, “Is my writing good enough?”
Personally, I can’t count the number of times I’ve questioned the quality of my writing. Whether it’s because of the type of books I read or an occasional imposter syndrome, I believe nearly every writer has asked the same question. It’s like the self-criticism in every writer’s brain makes us seek perfection right from the first draft.
Such self-reflection is a common aspect of the writing process, as we generally seek validation and improvement as writers. However, determining the quality of your writing involves a nuanced evaluation that goes beyond a simple yes or no. How do you know the difference between having self-doubt on your piece and assessing to improve its quality?
In this article, we’ll explore key considerations to help you assess the quality of your writing while offering guidance tailored to writers navigating the murky waters of self-doubt.
1. Embrace Vulnerability & Connect with a Community
I’ll start by emphasizing the need for every writer to embrace vulnerability. Recognizing that your vulnerability is not a weakness but a strength is crucial. Feeling self-conscious about your writing is part of the creative process. Embrace this vulnerability as a sign of your commitment to growth.
One thing that helps me embrace it is having a group of trusted writers or community who offer constructive feedback and support. It makes me feel more comfortable sharing parts of myself while improving my skills. Connect with fellow writers who understand the ebbs and flows of creative self-doubt.
Online writing communities, local writing groups, or workshops provide valuable spaces to share experiences, seek advice, and find encouragement. Knowing you’re not alone in your struggles can be a powerful antidote to imposter syndrome. It also doesn’t only apply to creative writing. In corporate writing, I prioritize having a good relationship with other writers in the company to share ideas and improve things. You don’t have to embark on your writing journey alone.
2. Connecting with Your Audience
Understanding your audience is the most essential part of your work. Imagine a children’s book writer using extensive vocabulary and innuendoes in their piece. It could be great for adults but terrible for kids.
So, if you don’t determine your audience, you write brilliant works that don’t resonate with them. Before you begin writing any piece, it’s essential to consider the demographics and interests of your target readership. Tailor your writing to engage with them personally, acknowledging their concerns and desires. Authenticity in your writing builds a bridge of connection with your audience, mitigating feelings of inadequacy.
“Becoming a writer was partly a matter of acquiring technique, but it was just as importantly a matter of the spirit and a habit of the mind. It was the willingness to sit in that chair for thousands of hours, receiving only occasional and minor recognition, enduring the grief of writing in the belief that somehow, despite my ignorance, something transformative was taking place.”
3. Remember to KISS
Keep it simple and short. Well, it doesn’t always have to be short, depending on the type of piece you’re writing, but simplicity is essential. There’s no point in writing an article or copy that your audience can’t understand.
A fundamental aspect of good writing is clarity. Ask yourself if your ideas are presented clearly and coherently. Are your sentences and paragraphs logically connected, leading the reader seamlessly through your narrative or argument? As much as possible, avoid using jargon- words only few people understand.
4. Edit to Perfection
More often than not, your first draft would be terrible. It could be full of grammatical errors, paragraphs that don’t connect, and more. Remembering that correct grammar and proper mechanics are the backbone of effective communication, it’s advisable always to edit your work.
Frequent grammatical errors or awkward sentence structures can distract readers from your message. You can use grammar-check tools, proofread diligently, and consider asking someone else to review your work to catch any overlooked mistakes. I’ll recommend Grammarly to aid proofreading, but you must also read it repeatedly to create a good piece.
Remember to approach revision with a growth mindset. Instead of viewing it as an admission of failure, see it as an opportunity to refine and enhance your work. Every revision is a step closer to the polished version of your writing, and each edit contributes to your skill development.
5. Tone, Voice and Purpose
Successful writing captivates its intended audience. Evaluate whether your writing engages readers from the beginning and maintains their interest throughout. Pay attention to the tone, style, and pacing to ensure they align with the expectations of your target audience.
Assess the alignment between your writing’s purpose and the message conveyed. Whether you are writing to inform, persuade, entertain, or educate, clarity in purpose is vital. The tone and voice you choose are the most effective ways to communicate your intended message and leave a lasting impact on the reader.
Think of it this way: You can’t use an informal tone like the one in this article for a company’s finance blog that targets executives. The tone of voice should always suit the purpose and the audience.
Additionally, check if your writing maintains a consistent tone, style, and level of formality. Consistency creates a sense of professionalism, enhancing the overall quality of your work.
Read more: Choosing the Right Tone of Voice For a Brand
6. Be 100% You and Stay Consistent
Originality is an essential part of writing. Although tools like Chat GPT, Copy AI, and others are available to aid your writing, they can’t replace the human touch you bring. Consider the uniqueness of your writing. Does it bring a fresh perspective or a creative angle to the topic? Strive to infuse your work with original ideas and a unique voice, setting your writing apart from the commonplace.
Moreover, your consistency in original ideas and pieces drives you closer to your growth as a writer. When I started my journey, I felt the pressure to be outstanding immediately. However, when I asked my mentor how to improve my writing, he said, “Write something every day”. Whether it’s a small piece of poetry or a short story, writing original pieces daily takes you much closer to perfection than beating yourself up.
7. Celebrate the Small Wins
Celebrating the little wins is a method that helped me fight my deep-rooted imposter syndrome. It could be as little as having an article returned from my editor with fewer corrections than the previous one or simply completing an article after fighting writer’s block. I’ll always acknowledge it and smile.
Acknowledge and celebrate those achievements, no matter how small. Completing a challenging paragraph, receiving positive feedback, or overcoming writer’s block are all victories. Recognizing these accomplishments boosts confidence and helps counteract imposter syndrome. So, if you complete that task, you can break open the bottle of win and celebrate it!
The question of whether your writing is “good enough” is subjective and ever-evolving. Writing is a continually refined and enhanced skill. Instead of seeking perfection, focus on continuous improvement. Embrace feedback, revise diligently, and remain dedicated to writing. Remember, the journey toward becoming a better writer is an ongoing process, and each piece you create is a step forward.
Try to avoid comparing yourself with others and focus on your personal journey as much as possible.
Austin Kleon said, “Creativity and ego cannot go together. If you free yourself from the comparing and jealous mind, your Creativity opens up endlessly.”
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