Ask a question. Then listen to the answer. Repeat the process.
You can do this for an article, book or email. Ask, "What are your thoughts?" Then notice what people are really saying. Ignore the extreme stuff. Listen to the ones who leave balanced responses.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
You can become a better writer by simply becoming more aware of your surroundings.
Writing is mostly strategy. And a big part of writing strategy lies in listening.
It's about how you write. Every person has a different way of expressing themselves. We can all spot which writers are fake and which ones are real. But when we write, we forget about that. We fail to think of someone a bit sceptical.
When you write, you need to be convinced of what you write. Your biggest enemy is not the sceptic, but the reader who calls you out by simply discarding your writing.
Start becoming aware of things that actually matter by listening to your friends, family, spouse, readers, and yourself.
See yourself as a researcher who is studying your particular subject. The better you observe the details of daily life, the better you can explain them.
1. Actually write
2. Watch out for repetition (and annihilate it)
3. Weed out clichés
4. Aim for clean, filler-free prose
5. Read... a lot! In a wide range of genre
6. Read again, with a pencil in hand
7. Choose personal over formulaic
8. Experiment to keep your style fresh
9. Sharpen your opening and ending
10. Never forget the big picture
Defensiveness sabotages your ability to be a good listener. People become defensive when they feel threatened in a relationship.
The best way to avoid defensiveness and continue to listen well, even when you're upset, is to practice validating your own emotions. Say to yourself that it is okay that you feel angry or hurt. But, you get to decide how to act moving forward.
Writing is like pursuing a healthier lifestyle. It all depends on what we consume. Therefore we must take into consideration what we read, listen to, watch, and experience.
Every experience you get from books, adventures, podcasts, or conversation, is possible material.