Even though it may look like there aren’t things you can do differently in writing, there is always room for improvement. Writing skills are required everywhere, whether you’re authoring social media posts, website content, advertising copy, or chapters of a novel, you can always take your writing to the next level. There are many things one needs to understand and practice to improve their writing, and here are a few tips that can help with the same.
One of the best ways to improve your writing skills is to read more. Reading improves your vocabulary naturally, and once you’re familiar with more words, you’ll feel more confident in using different words in different contexts. Most great writers are avid readers, and that’s because it helps them pick up the lilt of the language, the cadence of copy, and the different voices that can be used in practiced prose. One can read anything, but it has to be done every day. Reading the newspaper, short articles, blogs, proses, short stories, or novels can help you improve your writing skills.
Write Something Everyday
If you get into the habit of writing every day, you’ll be able to identify your mistakes and places for improvement. You can start this habit by keeping a journal and writing about your day. Once you get more comfortable with the idea of writing every day, or more often, you can try writing your thoughts on paper in the form of prose, poetry, or whatever you may like. Getting into the habit of writing every single day is bound to improve your writing skills because you will begin to realize what your writing needs to become better.
It Won’t Be Perfect The First Time
Writing is hard work. It’s a time-consuming process that doesn’t happen in one fell swoop. It is okay to have various drafts of your piece. By definition, a draft is a preliminary version of what will eventually be your final piece. First drafts are usually bad. Sometimes, they’re really bad. That’s expected. The purpose of a first draft is to transition your writing from an outline to a better draft or two to polished prose.
Overly Complex Words Are A No-Go
Remember, the point is not to show your readers how smart you are but rather to impart your knowledge and insights. If in doubt, choose simple words. There are often times when using overly complex words in your writing may disconnect you from your readers, as they may not be able to grasp the gist of your message simply because of the complexity. Sometimes, opting for simpler vocabulary may not only deliver your message more effectively but will also open your writing to a larger audience.
Be Direct In Your Writing
Be careful about how you express your thoughts. If you try to relay too much information, you may lose your audience. Stick to the most salient facts and necessary descriptive phrases. If a block of text looks like too much information, it probably is. Try to use shorter sentences and avoid unnecessary words. New writers often throw in adverbs that overcomplicate their writing. Instead of writing that something is really pretty, just say it’s beautiful.
Find Your Voice
The most effective way to develop a unique writing style is to be yourself. Let your writing reveal your personality. Stick to a tone and phrasing that feel authentic and organic to you. Don’t be afraid to throw in a revealing anecdote when and where it makes sense. The point is, your writing style has to be unique to you because that’s how you can fall in love with your writing and that’s how you you’ll feel more comfortable and confident when you write.
Edit Edit Edit
All writers fall in love with their own words; it’s normal and inevitable. You may come up with a great-sounding turn of phrase that you want to use in a particular short story or another piece of writing. The problem is that the words might not fit into your flow, convey your thoughts with clarity, or belong in the piece at all. If your prose is too complicated, appears a little too clever—yes, that’s a thing to avoid—or doesn’t enhance the overarching message, cut it. Proofreading and editing are essential to the writing process. You need to be your own ruthless editor. As you go through your drafts, look for instances where you can replace long sentences with short sentences without interrupting cadence or losing meaning.