Whether you always struggled with writing assignments in school or have enjoyed writing for most of your life, it’s always a good idea to practice helpful tips to improve your skills. Every writer has room for improvement, no matter how experienced he or she happens to be.
Some types of writing may come more easily to you. If you’ve always been an artistic thinker, you might enjoy creative writing more than persuasive essays or analytical writing. If you’re an “organized” thinker or someone who likes to research history, you might be more comfortable writing biographies than you are at making up a story from scratch. Either way, you’ll find four tips in this post that can help your writing improve.
Use other writers’ examples to guide your own work
If you are getting ready to write a fictional story or someone’s biography or a book review, it might help you improve your skills to read what others have written in similar genres. Pay attention to style, format and tone. What do you like most about their writing? What do you like least? Learn from the examples you read.
Always read aloud what you have written
If you’ve been writing and reading silently in your mind as you write, it’s not the same as “hearing” what you’ve written. Reading your work out loud can help improve your skills because you’ll quickly notice when a phrase or paragraph sounds awkward or redundant or out of context. It might be even more helpful to ask someone to read your writing to you rather than reading it out loud to yourself.
You can do it either way, as long as you set aside time to listen to what you’ve written. Consider this habit the first step in your editing process.
Experiment with different types of writing to improve your skills
While some people might think it’s best to focus on one type writing, when your goal is to improve your skills, you’ll want to try your hand at many writing styles. Write a true story, then a fictional one. Write in a journal. Send hand-written letters to people. Time yourself and choose a topic, then write whatever comes to your mind before the timer rings. Write a letter to your local newspaper editor.
Because a writer approaches each style of writing a little bit differently, practicing many types of writing can boost your skills. For instance, freestyle writing with a timer set might help boost your creative thinking skills. Writing a true story might teach you to pay close attention to detail. The more styles of writing you try, the more skills you can acquire.
Study grammar, punctuation and syntax
Especially if you are a published writer, you might think it’s useless to study grammar, punctuation and syntax. After all, these are fundamentals that are meant to help beginners, right? Wrong! All writers benefit from studying these topics. The more understanding you have for words and their proper usage, the better writer you’ll become.