If you’re a writer, you know that there’s no right and wrong way of writing something. Of course, in terms of grammar and its proper usage, there is a right and wrong. But in general, there’s no ‘correct’ way of writing something. There is no secret formula that guarantees success. It all depends on the creativity of the writer and the path he/she chooses to take.
Here’s an example. James Joyce wrote The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man as a stream of consciousness novel, while The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is written in first person. The Harry Potter series is written in third person. It was the authors’ decision to write however they wanted and all of these novels became successful.
The voice, tone of the content completely depends on the subject. Sometimes simplicity works while sometimes the subject matter deserves some complexity.
Before we begin the topic of how to improve your writing, let’s first get into the nitty-gritty of ‘writing’.
What is writing?
It is a form of communication, where thoughts transform into words which make an impact on the reader. Through words you can make the readers think, feel, change their mindset and even make them buy something!
Writing is serious (but fun) business.
So how should one convert these thoughts into words and create some memorable content?
Well, here are 7 tips to help you write better.
Before putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), make sure you research the topic thoroughly. It’s a vital step that differentiates a newbie and a professional writer. If you’re already knowledgeable about the topic, create an outline of the points you want to put forth in the content. Then, read content written by others on the topic and see if you have missed any important points. Find statistics related to the topic to give your content some credibility. Obviously, plagiarizing is a no-no. It’s a known fact that a writer who plagiarizes is not a good writer at all. Don’t be that person. Conduct a research, incorporate your own thoughts and ideas, create an outline of all the points and start writing in your style.
Nothing is more annoying than reading an article which is confusing. A writer is a communicator, and if your reader just doesn’t understand what you’re trying to say, it ends up being useless. Create content that is crystal clear and easy to understand. Don’t try to unnecessarily add big words. Your task is to keep the reader hooked until the end, and that is possible through crisp and clear writing.
Write valuable content
A good writer is someone who creates memorable content from which the reader learns something new. It can be a how-to article, a life hack, a memoir about your life, or a DIY article. Always provide some value to the reader. As a writer, you’re competing with millions of writers worldwide, vying for the attention of readers. When they click on your content, ensure that they leave with some new information, knowledge, or a new perspective.
Practice writing daily
Like any other skill, you need to practice writing daily to improve. If you consistently devote time for writing, you will see improvement by leaps and bounds. If you’re just starting out as a writer, first find your own style. If you’re already an established writer but looking to improve your skills, write on various topics. Challenge yourself by writing about anything and everything. Push your boundaries and watch yourself get better with time.
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a good writer must also be a voracious reader (Thank you, Jane Austen, for the inspiration for that line.)
Reading content written by others, be it on social media, blogs, websites or books ensures that your brain is constantly getting the stimuli to write better. Authors and writers that you adore can significantly impact your writing. Reading everyday will not only develop your vocabulary but also expose you to various styles of writing. Observe how good writers write their sentences, sprinkle in humor and construct paragraphs. Little details like these make a huge difference. As a writer, your goal is to stand out among the crowd for your skills and reading a lot will help greatly.
Communicate with other writers
Every writer is an artist and artists end up falling in love with their own creations. This approach is dangerous if you want to improve as a writer. What you can do is show your drafts to fellow writers. Join workshops and participate in monthly writing challenges. Build relationships with other writers by commenting on their content. Enter online or offline writing competitions. Take feedback from established writers if possible. Some constructive feedback will give you a fresh perspective on your own writing, thus giving you a chance to improve it.
Edit like a crazy person
“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.”
—Hunter S. Thompson
Take a look at your draft, not as the writer, but as the reader. Are you getting bored while reading the piece? Has it become too wordy? Is it too complicated? Answer these questions and make the necessary changes. Edit, then edit again. After you’re done…edit again. This will create an outcome where every single word is of utmost importance.
A good writer is someone who adapts to the type of content that is expected to be written and communicates the desired information effectively. It’s a wonderful thing that you have a desire to improve your writing skills and I hope that these points will help you to achieve the level of writing you wish to have!