Written communication is as important as it ever has been. If you need to brush up on your writing skills, we’re going to show you how with a number of great tips. Keep reading and see how much your skills can improve.
Read the Greats
Always read the great writers from the past. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading J. K. Rowling but you’re not a fantasy writer. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading Ken Follett and you’re not into historical fiction or family sagas.
The greats all have similarities in basic mechanics and style. It’s about so much more than the content.
Transition into Writing
To really reinforce these lessons you need to put them into practice. Try to write as much as you can, even if it’s only ten or fifteen minutes at the time.
You can get a lot from simply imitating the greats. Over time, you’ll even start to develop your own style.
The Writing Ritual
We all need structure in our lives. Get into the habit of making writing as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth and washing your hair.
Set a time each day where you will write and stick to it. This will not only lead to constant improvement, but you’ll keep your skills sharp. You can’t train to become a great writer and expect to still have the same quality if you take a month off.
Editing Master Class
Personal writing is a good first step, but you need others to see and judge your work. This is where hiring an editor comes in handy. You can always find someone who will search your writing for:
- Grammar issues
- Poor word choices.
- General flow
These are the four pillars of good writing. You can find editors who will provide detailed and objective feedback from all over the world.
The Right Editor
Before you hire an editor, think about who they are. Even if one of your friends is a professional editor, never hire them. They know you too well and they’ll never be able to judge you objectively. An editor must remain entirely disconnected from the writer or the feedback becomes tainted.
We all write every day by hand or on the computer. The problem is most of us never improved. Moreover, that’s because we don’t pay attention to our writing. We allow distractions to get in the way.
Distractions are a real problem in the modern world because we live in a world of noise. You can’t get away from them.
Prevent distractions when you write by shutting off the TV, going full-screen on your laptop, and switching any social media/phone notifications off. This will allow you to concentrate on improving your writing.
Beginners tend to struggle with writing because they write too tensely. They can’t apply a conversational tone to their writing, and this means a lot of the natural flow the greats have isn’t there.
We recommend trying to emulate a conversation. Speak the words aloud as you write to make it easier. This will soon become natural in time. You’re not writing a legal document, so there’s no need to keep everything ultra-formal and soulless.
The Problem with Teachers
You have to completely realign your thinking. Teachers in schools teach their students to write with the expectation of taking an exam later on. This is what they’re paid to do, but in the real world this doesn’t work.
The easiest way to master writing is to forget everything you’ve ever learned from your school English teacher.
Revise Your Work
Always sit down to look over your work. This should ideally take place as soon as you’ve finished your work. This will enable you to fix any points you’ve missed and ensure you remove any lingering grammar and punctuation problems.
The Later Revision
An early revision can only do so much. You need to give your work some time to settle. Reset your mind, go away, and do something else for a while.
How long you need to wait depends entirely on you. Some people need a few days some people need a few weeks.
A later revision is an ideal way of enhancing your writing because it gives you a fresh pair of eyes. You’re not caught up in how you feel at the current time. It’s the most objective you can be as an individual.
A Time Game
It takes time to get better at your craft. Regardless of what you write, these tips will help you to move forward and grow.
Nevertheless, you should expect it to take quite a long time to see any visible improvement. The best writers write every day for years to get to where they are.
Are you willing to put in this much effort?