Writing can be very exciting if you love it. On the other hand, writing can be challenging, tiring, and even intimidating especially if you do not write for a living or on a regular basis.
In this article we would be looking at 10 steps to improve your writing skills.
But then, whether you love to write or not, writing is a very important skill everyone need. It is important to you as a student, employee, business person, or wherever you find yourself today or in the future.
Therefore, if you are not good at writing, the only option you’ve now is to learn to improve on it… and that is what this post is here to help you with!
If you’re ready, let me teach you ways to improve greatly on your writing skills and become a better writer.
1. Sharpen up your knowledge on the basics
Before your writing could become topnotch, you will need to have at least an intermediate understanding of the fundamental principles of writing.
This does not mean you should enrol in the university but you will need to know the basics of spelling and grammar. I will recommend you read “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White as this book is one of the most comprehensive resources on the correct use of grammar.
There are other resources you can use to learn the basics. For example, you can learn a lot about writing from Youtube videos or take courses on Udemy. These will help you sharpen your writing skills.
2. Consistent practising
There is a saying that says “practice makes perfect” and this applies to almost everything and writing is not an exception.
Writing on a regular basis will not only take away your fear of the blank page (or blinking cursor), it will also help you develop a unique style of writing.
3. Regularly reading
You have to be a keen reader to be a good writer. Reading regularly is an easy way to develop your writing skills.
Do not focus on a particular reading material rather diversify your reading material and expand your horizons to more challenging material than you typically read. Pay attention to sentence structures, word choices, and the flow of the material.
4. Have a clear purpose
Before you start writing on a particular subject, you have to ask yourself if you can explain what you wrote to a child. Mentally explain to the 6-year-old in your mind before you pen it down because if you can not explain it to a child, you do not understand it yourself.
In summary, before you dive right in, have a clear purpose, and stick to it.
5. Have an outline
Before you start writing, make an outline of what you plan to write especially if you are writing something complex.
An outline does not have to be complex, a simple structure of what sections should appear and in what particular order, along with a few sentences about what each section contains, may be enough.
If the topic you’re tackling is a little more complex, your outline might have to be, too – but having an outline before you write is very helpful, it is like having a map handy on a trip. If you start to feel lost, refer back to your outline, and get back on track.
6. Use simple words
You may think you sound smarter or more astute when you use complex and bombastic words but that is completely untrue.
When writing especially in the online world, you want your writing to be on a primary pupil reading level. Ditch big fancy words and use simple, yet effective words when you write.
7. Try to avoid using filler words
Even though filler words are hard to not be used while writing, try as much as possible to avoid them. Filler words do not contribute much of anything and most times just clutter your writing. Examples of filler words are that, very, just, really, etc.
There is a balance of using enough words to convey your message. This will take time to develop and help you improve your skills as a new writer.
8. Sentences and paragraphs should be kept short
Keeping your sentences and paragraphs short makes it really easy for your readers to read and digest whatever content you have. Long blocks of text are so discouraging to read and will chase many readers away.
If a paragraph is too long, break it into smaller paragraphs.
9. Use an editing tool
Editing tools such as Grammarly helps you edit your work easily by spotting typographical errors, filler words, etc. Grammarly helps you fine-tune your writing by even suggesting appropriate wordings and the rest.
You can proofread your work yourself after using an editing tool or have somebody else proofread for you.
10. Do some research
Not making proper research before writing on a subject can undermine your work as a writer, the same goes for plagiarizing someone else’s works.
Do not be too eager to be done with a work that you tend to cook up statistical figures or facts because you are too lazy or just in a haste.
This can land you in trouble, and also makes you look like an amateur.
I hope you find this article extremely helpful and I wish you the best in your writing adventures. Make sure to start that writing today!
I hope you find this article helpful as well as interesting.