We all strive to be the best at our crafts. Whether you’re a freelance writer, a businessperson, a teacher, or a salesperson, acquiring strong writing skills to help you effectively communicate your thoughts and generate leads is essential for success. But if it seems like achieving this is easier said than done, you’re in the right place!
I’ve put together 5 practical ways to improve your writing skills.
These simple, yet effective and actionable tips will help you hone your writing skills, maximise your potentials and achieve tangible results. Let’s dive right into it.
1. Learn the basics of grammar and spelling
Too many grammatical mistakes will distract your readers from your writing. While you’re not expected to attain ‘grammar god’ status and make no mistake ever (no one can), at least an intermediate understanding of the basics of grammar and spelling will significantly improve your writing.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to enrol in some expensive course at Harvard to achieve this.
2. Read Critically
One of the most constructive ways to improve your writing skills is to read the works of others, especially those whose writing styles stand out to you and who you aspire to write like.
You can read novels, newsletters, poems, financial reports, speeches and more by people within and even outside your field. Read not just for fun but to broaden your literary horizon.
While recreational reading can help your skills, another effective way is analytical reading, where you take the writing apart and study words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs that stand out to you and then apply them in your own writing.
What better way to improve your writing skills than by writing regularly?
One of the greatest writers of our time, Ernest Hemingway, wrote between 500 and 1,000 words a day, while the king of horror novels, Stephen King, has claimed to write 2,000 words a day. King said, “If I don’t write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind … I begin to lose my hold on the story’s plot and pace.”
Consistency is vital to becoming a revered writer. You can even make it a habit to write a post on current happenings on your Facebook page daily or consider writing exercises.
Choose a schedule, medium, and pace that works for you but be sure to stick to it. Practice makes perfect!
4. Find a Writing Partner
When people think of writing, they usually envision it as a sole endeavour. But even the best writers collaborate with others in their craft, and you should too. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should start a manhunt for someone to co-author your next blockbuster, but finding friends or colleagues who would be willing to give you feedback on your writing.
They can help spot mistakes in your work you may have overlooked or, overall, provide constructive criticism to help you improve.
5.Join a writing workshop
Rounding up this list of practical ways to improve your writing skills is joining a workshop. This tip is not only practical but fun as well. Writing workshops can help stimulate you to read and write consistently, while useful ideas, tips, and resources are shared between like-minded participants in a relaxed environment.
You can attend writing workshops online or offline in your local community. One example of a popular writing workshop is award-winning writer Chimamanda Adichie’s annual Creative Writing Workshop, which she says serves “as a platform for writers to learn from one another and from established writers.” You can also inquire about writing workshops or groups from your local library or on sites like Meetup.
I’d like to conclude with this inspirational nugget by Octavia E. Butler which says:
“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”
There are enough resources in the world today to get you from amateur to expert scribe in due time, but the question is, are you willing to do the work?
Got other practical writing tips that have helped you? Share them in the comments section below and tell us which of the aforementioned tips strikes a chord with you most.