How I Became a Better Writer

by Hayley Clark, Age 12, Canada


When I first started writing, everything was hard for me. I had no idea where or how to start. I realized my writing was not getting any better. It never made any sense, and every time I edited, it just got worse and worse. I felt alone like I was the only one going through this problem.

I started to believe that my writing would never get any better. I thought every writer was born knowing exactly how to write a great story. I thought that writers did not learn through hours of work, learning and experience so I dropped the idea of becoming a writer.

Later, I came across this website:, a website for young writers. This inspired me to start writing again. So I put all my effort into becoming the great writer that I knew one day I could become.

This is what I did…

I studied writing. I went to writing conferences. I bought Polly Wants to be a Writer and a whole bunch of other books on writing. I educated myself on how to write and edit and how a literary dragon works. I learned about cutting out unwanted words. I also read books on starting out as a writer and places young writers like me could get published.

I wrote and read a lot. Another thing I did was write as much as I could. I carried a notebook everywhere with me so I could write down any idea that popped into my head. And, I always had a book with me. I read more than ever. In order to be able to write good writing, I knew I would have to read good writing first.

I experienced and observed life. Another thing I did to improve my writing was observe people. I knew this would help me improve because it taught me how people act and speak. I observed people and overheard snippets of conversations. I talked to different people and wrote about something based on what they said or did. I wrote stories about inanimate objects and played around with different points of view.

At some point you may meet a moment in your writing career when you realize your writing is not as good as you would like. That is not a bad thing it just means you have the power to become a better writer with more powerful words than you have today.

Remember not to give up.



4 comments on “How I Became a Better Writer

  1. Thank you so much for your kind words; your comments made me smile.

  2. Amna Gillani

    Great article, Hayley!!
    Keep writing and improving. It’ll be great to read more of your work since you are an awesome writer. Best wishes from Pakistan

  3. Marjorie McIntyre

    Hayley thank you taking the time to write this piece that no doubt will inspire other writers. Reading about the process you have gone through to improve your own writing is both refreshing and encouraging for others. I think your point about how much work it is to learn to write and the importance of persisting in the practice is a excellent one.
    Thank you.

  4. Carol McDonald

    Hayley thank you for this advice. Your words are wise beyond your years and these are very useful ideas for any writer to consider. I find encouragement in reading of your writing experience; to keep working on my own writing and to not give up on trying to have good ideas and good stories published. Best, Carol

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