7 Easy Ways to Hone Your Writing Skills
Anybody can string a number of words together and claim to have written something. However, writing great or persuasive content that eventually goes viral is not an easy task at all. If you have any intention of being a writer in any niche, the best time to improve your writing skills is while you’re still in college so that you would have become a professional in your chosen sphere by the time you leave college.
Even for those not pursuing a profession in writing, good writing skills are important in almost any profession. Even policemen are required to write statements about what they saw on the field. Therefore, inevitably almost everyone in every profession needs to have honed writing skills. Still don’t believe me? Let’s explore a few benefits of good writing skills.
Benefits of good writing skills
The truth is that we can’t all be bestseller writers but at least we can achieve a lot if we can hone our writing skills. Some of those things are:
- You have better vocabulary in your arsenal and you have great interpersonal communication skills.
- You develop an analytical thinking methodology in order to write pieces that hook target audience.
- When you write about all your grievances and doubts, you are able to clear your head of any distracting cobweb of thoughts.
- For those that keep journals or any personal writing book or material, writing helps to keep events in your life into perspective.
- It’s a great way to exercise your mind and keep your brain sharp and active.
Since we’ve discussed the benefits of a good writing skills, we can now discuss how you can improve your writing. Here are 7 Easy Ways to Hone Your Writing Skills:
- Read voraciously
Almost everyone who started writing in whatever niche started as a reader. Most writers spend a lot of time reading, and not just about topics specific to their niche, but also a number of topics from many different niches. This is because reading is a great way for getting inspiration and learning new vocabulary, phrases and terms.
Apart from just reading generally, the best way to develop you writing skills is to read educative articles and books that teach about writing principles and guidelines as well as give advice and best writing practices to help you hone your writing skills.
- Learn to use outlines when writing
Before you start writing anything, you need to sketch out an outline of what you intend to write about. Your outlines are like your writing battle strategy on paper. They don’t have to be as complex as real battle strategy though. All you need is a simple framework to give your writing the skeleton upon which you will add flesh. This framework exists so that if you start to get confused you can easily refer to your outline and so that you don’t write out of context.
The basic outline that almost every article writer uses is:
- Introduction: Where you introduce the topic and give readers the reason why they should be interested in what you’re writing.
- Body: Here you present the information you’re trying to pass across succinctly in lists or sections.
- Conclusion: Wrap up your writing.
- Write, write and write
Remember that practice makes perfect. This applies to almost every sphere of your life, even writing. If you want to improve your writing skills, you have to get used to writing on a daily basis to help you develop confidence in your writing and develop your own writing style.
However, practicing writing the wrong way will not help you in anyway. So, what you need to do is to learn your writing mistakes and flaws and the solutions to them and then practice writing with those flaws and the solutions in mind. So, write and edit, then look for mistakes and correct them.
- Be your harshest critic
If you’re just writing without getting criticisms, it’s highly unlikely that you will make much progress which is why you need to criticize your writing from an objective perspective. When you’re editing your work, you need to edit and proofread as though you’re the client or target audience of the written piece, pick out and delete mistakes without thinking about the time or the effort you put into writing. In situations where you have a word count limit, it may be extremely difficult but you need to delete extra and unnecessary words, phrases and sentences that are of no relevance to your content.
- Anticipate your reader’s questions
When you’re writing, you can’t just write to satisfy yourself. You need to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Writing without considering your reader is like pouring water in a basket, a waste of time. I’m not suggesting that you abandon your personality when writing but before you write in a particular niche, you should know what people in that niche like to read, so you need to write in a contextual manner that your readers can understand.
- Meet other writers
Meeting other writers is the best opportunity to get feedback on your writing as well as criticisms. It is also the best way to make the right connections to take your writing to the next level. When you go for writer meetups, you’re sure to leave with interesting knowledge that you were not aware of before. To do this, you can join workshops, use Inked Voices, a subscription platform that matches writers based on their writing preferences and experiences. You can Scribophile which is a great online writing community.
- Take an online course
It is great to learn by practice, but practicing something without a good foundation is not the best of options. You can take online writing courses, some of them free and many of them low-cost to learn the basics of writing or more about writing.
It is not so hard to become a writing professional if you adopt a reading lifestyle, understand the important concepts of writing and practice your writing with those concepts in mind. But in order to stand out among other writers, you have to make sure you always add your personality to your writing such that people can always recognize your unique writing style.
About the Author
Serena Dorf is an enthusiastic content writer at EssayOnTime. She is passionate about writing, personal development, psychology, and productivity. In her free time, she is reading classic American literature and learning Swedish. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.
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