How to Become a Better Writer
Today, having excellent writing skills is essential. Having perfect grammar is a necessity. If we went back 50 years ago, who would have thought that communication could be so instant? However, with fast communication, the need to have good writing has also emerged. Every day we communicate with people through emails, messengers, and text messages. All of this communication is instant, and you need to write precisely and concisely because once you send something, there will be proof of it the rest of your life.
If you are in professional life, having excellent writing skills is very crucial. You communicate to people you have met through different platforms, and if you are not accurate and concise in conveying your message, you can suffer through very costly misunderstandings. According to Email Statistics Report 2011-2015, an average professional receives almost 100 emails a day. So, a professional must possess writing skills through which he can grab the attention of a reader; nobody would like to go through boring long text. You need to curate a content that is concise and can catch the readers’ eyes.
If you are looking to improve your writing, we have gathered some tips that will help you create attractive and flawless texts. It will help you in your professional life, boost your confidence, and you will be able to communicate with others in a better way.
Table of Contents
- 1Try to Write Every Day
- 2Develop a Habit of Reading
- 3Importance of Capitalizing Words
- 4Keep the Readers in Mind
- 5Keep it Clear, Simple and Concise
- 6Keep on Learning
- 7Save Time Using Templates
- 8If You are Addressing Someone, TRIPLE Check
- 9Do Your Research
- 10Study Commonly Misused Words and Phrases
- 11Leave the Introduction and Conclusion for the Last
- 12Imitate Writers You Admire
- 13Read Your Writing Out Loud
- 14Edit Your Work Ruthlessly
- 15Wrap Up
It is a famous saying that “practice makes a man perfect,” and there is no denying. So, if you want to be a better writer, take 10 to 15 minutes every day, and start writing whatever you feel. Get your thoughts on notepad without the stress of proofreading or aligning your ideas. Try to write something that will help you in your personal growth. If you have any future plans, try to write ways to achieve your goals. In this way, not only your writing skills will get better, but you will also prepare yourself for the critical days to come.
Freewriting will help you process your thoughts and, at the same time, make you analyze what sounds good and what does not. So, it is a win-win situation. Once you finish writing, try to find mistakes and errors. If there are any punctuation mistakes, rectify them, and a time will come when you will be able to write a flawless piece of text in your first attempt.
Just like it is essential to write, it is equally important to read every day. Reading opens up new horizons of thinking, broader your vision, increases your vocabulary, and gives you more ideas to write. However, try to be selective about what you read; you won’t get a new perspective by general reading. It is essential to learn what is relevant to you, or what you think will help you get the most out of it. If you want to be creative, reading fiction can help you. If you’re going to learn to write formally, reading academic journals can prove very beneficial.
If you are traveling to work, keep a novel with yourself and read it on the way. You can also have a quick dose of reading at lunch. In addition to books, industry blogs also provide great opportunities to learn.
We know that you might think, it is the primary writing rule; everyone knows when to capitalize. But it has so much influence in writing that we have to remind you what is to be capitalized and whatnot. For capitalizing, you need to keep in mind that the two types of writing should be examined.
- Number one is proper nouns. All the proper nouns, including the name of people, places, products, books, job titles, and school, must start with a capital letter. Proper nouns are used to specify people, places, and things, so they must be capitalized.
- The second one is Title Case. This is important as many of us don’t capitalize on the titles. In the case of writing the title of a story, book, or an article, you must use capital letters to make it outstanding. This must be followed even when writing the subject of emails and headlines of blog posts.
It is always better to write something considering who is your audience or who will read your writing? Having a single tone does not work; you can talk casually with your friends and peers, but when it comes to communication with managerial staff, you should use more formal language. Now formal does not mean you start using corporate words or old-fashioned sentences. Even using “it is” instead of “it’s” will work, and always remember to use your humor wisely.
When you speak in person, the other person is aware of what tone you are talking in, but when you are communicating through a text, he is unaware of it. So, keeping things formal will prevent you from sounding disrespectful.
As mentioned earlier, you need the readers to pay attention to your writing. You should avoid making your text long and tedious; keep it short, concise and exciting. Try to use shorter sentences because longer sentences often make the reader drift away from the topic. Keep the text short, and try to use catchy keywords to set up the hook.
Do not use exclamations points too often as they dilute your message. Instead, try to explain or convey the message in your own words, that too very precisely.
The sentences that are either incoherent or monotonous often overwhelm and turn off the readers. To make them stick to reading, write as user-friendly text as possible.
Wordy phrases like “in order to” should be avoided; simpler and more straight forward alternatives must be used. In this case, “to” can get the job done. You should also avoid using buzzwords in your text unless you are sure that the reader will be familiar with them.
There is no age for learning. Keep on exploring new areas where you think you might need improvement. There are tons of websites where you can learn for free; some of such websites are Udemy, eDx, and Coursera. The courses offered on these websites are from one of the most prestigious institutes of the world, like Stanford, MIT, and Harvard.
If your job includes sending similar emails to different recipients, then using writing templates can save you a lot of time and effort. Create templates with customizable fields so that you can edit whenever you want. If you want to communicate on a more personal level, you can always start the communication with one or two sentences. But remember, templates are going to only work when you have to send similar messages in bulk; if that’s not the case, stick to writing from scratch.
If you are going to address someone in your writing, make sure you are using the right name and gender to avoid embarrassment. Secondly, triple-check that the spelling is a hundred percent correct. Spelling mistakes in the names are often considered bad; the other person might have the impression that you didn’t even bother to give attention to the name.
Before you start, make sure you know well enough to write on the topic you have chosen. If you don’t have adequate knowledge, you should first learn about it. Start your research by reading relevant material online; if it is a popular topic, you will find enough articles, to begin with. However, if you are writing about something that is not so popular, you might have to do thorough research and extract the right information yourself. It might require time and effort, but if you want to write something, make sure you do justice to it, and proper research is going to be the foundation of your piece.
With the advent of the internet, everything is available just a few clicks away. If your writing is posted on the internet, nobody can draw the boundaries of the audience. So, if your text is poorly researched, people will find the flaws and mistakes, which is never good for a writer’s reputation. Make sure all the facts and figures are thoroughly checked, and the writing contains the correct information.
If you are using an online editor/writer, chances of spelling mistakes are cut down to zero. However, it is the misused phrases that are difficult to catch during proofreading. In case of misused phrases, the autocorrect will not give an error, but the phrases will not fit into your sentence correctly. For this, you need to learn what to use and where to use it. A common mistake would be to use “peek,” instead of “peak,” or is it “pique”? Do you see it? It can be quite confusing.
You should also be aware of the difference between “that” and “which.” To keep things simple, that is used to add valuable information and integrate one sentence with another. There is no comma involved, but on the contrary, which is always used to add non-essential information and is preceded by a comma. And if you are not sure what to use, Google it.
Once you have done your research and are confident about writing your piece, focus on what you will write. It would be best if you write the main points, and revolve you writing around it. But don’t write the introduction and conclusion at the start, it will draw a boundary, and you will have to follow it while writing. Instead, write whatever you feel fits in, and once you are done with the body, think about an intriguing introduction and a call-to-action conclusion. The central part of any writing is its body, so start working on it first and then come towards writing an introduction and conclusion.
Before talking about this point, remember, imitating is not plagiarizing someone’s work. It is wrong to copy some other writers’ work and to rip them off. By imitating, we mean that you try to write like other writers you love. Try to note how they draw little details with their work. If they use humor in their writing, try to use humor too. Do your favorite writers like referencing different topics? Then you can too.
If you like to read a lot, you will probably have a particular author you like reading the most. However, if you don’t have one, don’t worry, just skip this tip.
Once you complete your writing, always read it out loud before sending it to anyone to ensure it makes sense. It might sound weird, but reading your text will help you rectify a lot of mistakes and enable you to spew sense and life to your writing. It is the most effective way to identify typos, grammatical errors, and awkward phrasing.
You have been writing for a long time, and you are probably getting more confident, and that’s good. But now is the time to become your own critic. Editing is a skill that is difficult to have when you are a beginner. Although you might think all the effort and time is made to write an article, it is the editing that makes a piece perfect. This is why editors have such importance in the field of writing. Be tough on yourself, find flaws, errors, incoherent and monotonous sentences, and get rid of them.
Writing is a productive skill, but it comes with time. Writing demands time and focus. In this article, we tried to tell you some essential tips that will help you improve your writing. The more time, effort, and dedication you’ll show, the more quickly you become a master writer. Consistency is the key here, keep on writing, and keep on improving. We wish you luck with your future writing endeavors.