8 Ways to Improve Your Writing

in Living by Ling Wong

8 Ways to Improve Your Writing

8 ways to improve your writing

No matter what stage of life you’re in, you can always take steps to improve your writing skills. Whether it’s for your job, your hobby, or your personal interactions, here is a list of eight things you can do to polish your writing.

Make a clear message

Nothing is more aggravating than a work of writing that fails to get to the point. Consider what you want to convey, what idea you want your reader to take with them, and make certain that message is obvious from the start.

It's also crucial to consider your audience: what do they want to hear and how do they want to hear it? Do you need to adopt a formal or more casual tone? Should you use comedy to advance your narrative, or should you go right to the point in a more forthright manner?

These are key considerations that must be made before beginning the writing process.

Study writing basics

One of the easiest methods to start strengthening your writing skills is to learn the fundamentals. There are multiple online resources that teach basic to expert grammar, spelling, and general writing. Take the time to thoroughly explore these resources, particularly any examples given. If its coverage of a topic isn't sufficient for you, look for further information on that subject from other sources.

Outlines can be your best friend

Even for the most seasoned writers, the blinking cursor on a blank page is a formidable foe. Before you put pen to paper, make a rough outline of what you intend to write. This will be your fighting strategy, and it will assist you in winning the battle. Very few – and I mean very few – writers sit down to compose anything without a well-thought-out plan.

An outline does not need to be complicated. A simple framework indicating which sections should appear in what sequence, together with a few phrases describing what each section contains, can suffice. If the issue you're working on is a little more complicated, your outline may have to be as well. However, having an outline before you write is similar to having a road map: if you get lost, refer back to your plan and get back to rocking it.

Don't explain too much

You should be capable of keeping simple if you've taken the effort to arrange your thoughts ahead of time. The goal is to provide readers with just enough information to understand what you're saying without overwhelming them with unnecessary details. If you find yourself becoming bogged down with more details than necessary, examine each topic of information and consider whether it is necessary to help your audience understand your point. If it isn't, get rid of it.

Watch for possible misunderstandings

When you've finished composing a piece, ask yourself, "How will this be misunderstood?" Step away from your work and see it through the reader’s mind. Look for phrases that have various meanings and replace them with more accurate synonyms. If you're explaining a process, add sequencing and transition terms like "first," "second," or "next" to make it easier for your reader to stay on track. Check your work frequently and make it as transparent as possible.

Bring your personality into your writing

The easiest method to build a style of writing is to let your personality shine through. Use the terms and phrases that you are accustomed to using (within reason). When it's appropriate, include a personal anecdote. Be yourself when writing in all except the most formal or professional circumstances.

Always revise and proofread your work

You'd be shocked how many experts neglect this step - and they pay the price. Whatever you're writing, be sure it's been revised before sending it. Even one letter in the wrong location or the wrong word choice can cause embarrassment later on. Spell check will not capture everything, so proofread your work thoroughly. It is also okay to use software to assist you with proofreading and editing.

Remember that "done" is always better than "perfect"

Take the time to write as well as you can, check and edit your work extensively, and make sure your writing flows smoothly from one topic to the next.

This does not, however, imply that you should take months to write a single paragraph.  No work of literature will ever be perfect; you need to know when to release it. As long as you remember to keep your goals in sight, the nitty-gritty parts will take care of themselves.

About the Author

Ling Wong

Ling is a contributing Social Media author at ChamberofCommerce.com where she regularly consults on social media strategy. 

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