Whether you have to produce a lot of writing for your job or you’re typing away as a hobby but wishing you could improve your skills, it’s always useful to invest in better linguistic prowess.
In today’s world, writing is practically everywhere, from the boardroom to internet chat rooms to marketing efforts requiring editors for hire and much more, meaning just about everyone can benefit from improved writing skills. Unfortunately, there’s sometimes also a sense that writing is some sort of innate trait and that getting better is very difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth – with the right tips in mind and practice committed, anyone can get better and see a definite difference in their writing.
1. Practice a Little Each Day, and Make Sure To Consume Plenty of Reading Material, Too
There are two main ingredients to becoming a better writer: practicing a lot and also reading a lot. The two actually work hand-in-hand in some unexpected ways. If you only write once in a while, you may feel rusty or out of practice each time you pick up the pen. Even if you only manage to get out a few sentences, practicing the craft every day is the best way to slowly improve over time. At the same time, the best writers make sure to consume lots of other written material all the time. When you’re widely read, you’re more intimately acquainted with the ins and outs of the best writing out there, and this can help inform your own pursuits.
2. Write With a Buddy or Classmate
Everything is more fun to do, and you may feel more motivated to do it when it feels like an indulgence. For this reason, the psychological effect of writing alongside a friend may give you the boost you need to commit to writing regularly. This buddy system has a few key advantages. First, it can help get your guard down so you’ll enjoy the writing process and not feel like you have to constantly scrutinize your writing. Second, it gives you a built-in peer who can review your work, and you can review theirs! If you really enjoy the friend system, consider joining a part-time writing class at your local community center or college and getting the input of your classmates.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Plan and Edit
Although many writers feel that the best approach to crafting a good piece is just getting started, if you’re not comfortable with this approach, there’s no shame in coming up with a thorough outline first. In fact, the guidance could help you feel like your project is more manageable. Additionally, don’t be afraid to go back and revise or edit your work. You might not like what you see in the first draft, but with some changes, you could polish it into something truly special!
4. Get a Solid Grounding in Grammar and Review the Basics When Needed
Finally, it’s good to know that even when you get to a higher level in writing, it’s not uncommon to forget about basic grammar and style rules. No matter how advanced you get, don’t be afraid to go back and review the basics as needed. If you currently feel shaky about some rules, you may find it helpful to read through a style guide or take a revision course on grammar to help you get up to speed before you move on to more detailed aspects of writing.
Whether you have to improve your skills for work or you just want to hone your abilities as a side project, trying to get better at writing can feel like a struggle sometimes. The great news is that anyone can improve with enough time, practice and know-how!