How to Become a Better Writer in College (10 Tips)

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Nov 14th, 2023

college student writing

When you’re in college, chances are, you will have enough spare time to pursue your passion, apart from studying for your regular subjects, of course.

For example, many college students work as freelancers to continue doing what they love and earn some hard cash while they’re at it. We all need that extra pocket money while in college, don’t we? If you have a knack for writing or have always wanted to become a writer, it is always best to start early. Below you’ll find top tips on how to become a better writer in college.

Top Tips On How to Become a Better Writer in College:

1. Start immediately and steer clear of distractions

A blank paper or screen can be intimidating. Writing the title and the first few lines of your literary composition can take a lot of time, and you often get distracted. Do not procrastinate and wait for the right word. Plan the idea and write immediately, at least the title, heading, or the first sentence. It will only get easier as soon as you gain momentum. Writing involves your full concentration, and it is not something you can work on while multi-tasking or if there’s a lot of background noise. Keep your phone away, turn the TV off, and try to sit in a quiet place like a library or a non-crowded cafe while you pen down your thoughts. If you can afford it, go on a writing retreat. A change of scenery and lifestyle pace from time to time can help stimulate your creativity. Eliminate all kinds of distractions to let your thoughts flow so that you can work with no interruption.

2. Become a voracious reader

This is the golden rule for being a good writer; you must read regularly. It helps you gain valuable ideas, improves your vocabulary, and gives you an idea of how to structure sentences or tell a story. Read all genres of books and don’t simply stick to your niche. Choose to read novels and fiction by renowned authors or other best-selling pieces. The good part is, that you’ll never run out of things to read. New content is being published every day in both print and digital form. Regular reading also shows your learning attitude. Reading is not just a brilliant exercise for your mind, but it will ultimately help you become a well-rounded writer, too. Reading and writing go hand in hand.

woman reading voraciously

Reading the work of various authors in different genres exposes you to different writing styles and the use of narratives. Allot 15-30 minutes a day to reading until it becomes a habit.

3. Follow a writing ritual

Choose a time of the day when your mind is the most active and fresh and then write. It could be in the mornings or evenings, probably after your regular college classes. Make a routine to write daily and ensure to do it when you have the least interruptions. Select a 30-minute to 1-hour slot that works best for you. If you choose to be a full-time writer, you’d have to invest more time in a day, but it will only hone your writing skills. Also, make sure you write regularly. Remember, practice makes perfect. You could start a blog, maintain a personal diary, take down notes when you have ideas, or write anything for your love of writing. Don’t stop.

4. Be concise and use powerful statements

Clarity and brevity are your allies in writing. It’s essential to be descriptive yet succinct. Craft your prose with powerful statements that grip your reader’s attention. Strip away the fluff and focus on the essence of your narrative. Using an active voice will inject vigor and directness into your sentences. Moreover, steer clear of redundancy; repeating the same point can disengage your audience. When you need a spark of creativity, especially with character creation, using an online name generator can offer that flash of inspiration, providing you with names that resonate with your writing’s tone and setting. This tool not only serves to name characters but can also help in developing business names or pseudonyms, adding depth and authenticity to your work.

5. Be mindful of the audience

Before you write anything, you need to lay a lot of emphasis on the audience. The same writing tone in a personal blog does not necessarily apply to writing research material for your business team or clients. Remember, the right communication to the right audience is the key to successful writing! You wouldn’t want to sound too scholarly if you were running a fashion blog, don’t you? To write a brilliant piece, spend a lot of time researching, understanding the target audience, and knowing their needs. Once the requirements are clear, it will only get easier to write and match the tone. Know your audience, as they are the ones who will consume your content. You do not want to write a piece that no one would read, right?

speaking to an audience

Knowing your target audience is essential to your composition. It enables you to use terminologies, tone of voice, and other stuff your readers can relate to.

6. Seek feedback

Be open to criticism. By that, I do not mean you should ask any Tom, Dick, and Harry who would hardly read your piece and pass on a harsh comment. No! Be open to constructive criticism and take feedback from your peers, professors, and college counselor. If you have friends from the writing community or industry, ask for their opinions. Without proper feedback, you could never measure your performance. The expectation should not be to expect praise from everyone but to gain valuable insights on how you can be better. Proper feedback can also help you gain different points of view, which will help you become a valued writer over time.

7. Use writing tools available online

There are a plethora of writing tools available online to help you become productive and efficient in your craft.

Here are some of the most recommended apps that can make a writer’s life easier:

8. Be a part of organizations for writers

As I mentioned earlier, writing requires you to sit in a peaceful place, and away from all sorts of distractions. This could sometimes make you feel writing is a solitary pursuit and could give you a feeling of loneliness. If you don’t address the blues right away, it could lead to burnout and total loss of interest. But don’t worry, many organizations give writers the chance to be around other fellow writers.

I have listed down some organizations that you can consider joining:

  • National Association of Writers
  • The Author’s Guild
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association of America
  • Horror Writing Association
  • Romance Writers of American
  • The International Women’s Guild
meeting of the minds

Being around like-minded people can stoke your creativity and passion for your craft.

9. Join writing forums or communities

To add to the thought that writing can be a lonely task, let me tell you it does not always have to be a solo process. You have an option to join various writing communities and connect with fellow authors and writers. Constructive comments, useful feedback, peer review, and advice can help you advance in your writing career. I have listed some of the most popular writing communities below:

man taking online course

10. Sign up for online writing courses for free

Virtual learning is on the rise, all thanks to COVID-19. Online courses have witnessed immense growth and are increasingly in demand, and the best part is, a lot of these courses are available for free. Courses such as “Effective Writing”, “Grammar and Punctuation”, “Tricky English Grammar”, “Creative Writing”, “Business Writing Techniques”, and others will help you become a better writer and brush up on your basics. Try to do as many writing courses as possible (come on, they’re for free!).

Wrap Up

College may be the most enjoyable years of your life. Some say it’s one big party with a $100,000 cover charge (LOL)! But those four or more years you will spend at the university should pave the way for a brighter future. Not only to increase your knowledge but to build contacts that could help you get ahead in life. It likewise allows you to develop other skills that will prove profitable in the long run. Writing is one of these skills that could open a lot of doors of opportunities for you in the future, or even presently. So, hone that writing skill of yours.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time blogger, educator, digital marketer, freelance writer, editor, and content manager with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient writer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for writers, digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Dive into my journey here, and don't miss out on my free PDF guide 80+ AI marketing tools.