• Sasha Ravae

How to Become a Successful Writer - Tip #33

33. Learn a new word a day.

milquetoast - n. (MILK-tohst)

Definition: a timid, meek, or unassertive person.

Example: Brian was such a milquetoast that he agreed to work extra hours on Sunday even though he had already told his boss that he needed that day off.

I think learning new words is fascinating and imperative as a writer. Language is a living, breathing thing, so it is always changing. Ten years ago, “selfie” was not even a word, and now, you can’t go two seconds without hearing it. As an author, I pride myself on having a vast vocabulary, not only for my writing but for my personal development also. I will say that it is important to not be too wordy; this can turn off readers. Also, you should avoid using words that seem out of context. Remember, sometimes, simpler is better. While, I appreciate “milquetoast” in itself, I do not think I would use that word in one of my stories to describe someone who was timid, just because it does not have a common usage and people may not know its meaning off bat. You’ll find that as you continue to study the English language, and maybe others, and continue to develop your craft, you’ll have a fully stocked word arsenal to pull from when needed.


Sasha Ravae

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