Words on a Page Writings about writing

Learning from the best bloggers

A paper notebook and a notebook computer

I always tell people that the best way to become a better blogger is to write. Then edit. Then write again. And again. And again. Practice making, if not perfect, then make you better.

Writing, though, is only one part of the equation. A bit part, but only a part. Another way to become a better blogger is by reading other blogs. Not just reading any blogs, but the better ones out there.

I’m talking about the blogs of people like Leo Babauta, Seth Godin, Jenny Lawson, Chris Brogan, and Gina Trapani. And many, many others.

What can you learn from reading the work of the best bloggers? Here are a few things that I think you can, and should, try to learn.

A few links for the end of the week

Who are you as a writer?

A woman typing

That’s a question that I think you, whether you’re an established writer or just starting out, should ask yourself.

And by that question I don’t mean asking yourself what kind of writing you do. I mean asking yourself what writing means to you. How your writing shapes you. What your goals as a writer are.

Do you write just for money? Are you looking to write the next great (or just good) novel? Are you an artist (or a wannabe artist), or are you someone who can tell a good story but don’t aspire to create art?

Answering the question Who am I as a writer? will help guide you in your career. Your answer will help you in your development as a writer. It will help you understand where you are and what you’ll need to do and learn to further your goals. Answering that question will help you decide what you want to write in the future.

You have to ask yourself Who am I as a writer? regularly. Maybe not every day or even every month, but perhaps once every year or two. As you develop as a writer, you change. Your focus changes. Your goals change. By asking that question, you better handle on where you want to take your writing. You get a better handle on where you want to take your career.

As you keep asking yourself Who am I as a writer? you’ll find that the answer could surprise you and take you in directions you never considered.

Beat writer's block with a brain dump

A 'Road Closed' sign blocking the way

We’ve all been hit by writer’s block, or something like it, at one time or another. A certain mental paralysis that stops us from putting words on a page. It’s frustrating and can be worse than annoying.

Over the years, I’ve had a few bouts of writers block in one form of another. Thankfully, each of those bouts weren’t incredibly bad but they were enough to put a dent in my productivity and to jeopardize a deadline or three.

I’ve tried a number of things over the years to get around writer’s block. Some worked. Most didn’t.

A few links for the end of the week