Whether you’re looking to win grant funding, or are hoping to get your book on the New York Times Best Seller’s list, you need to possess excellent writing skills. But, as you likely know, producing great writing isn’t easy. It requires not only a mastery of language but the ability to convey big thoughts in the written word.
Are you looking to become better at writing? You’ve come to the right article. Without further ado, here are 6 tips for becoming a better writer.
1. Write Regularly
Do you think Eddie Van Halen went much time without playing the guitar? Do you think Serena Williams became the GOAT without hitting tennis balls on a daily basis? Do you think Ken Jennings crammed in all of that Jeopardy information the night before the show?
Of course not! These individuals became masters at their respective crafts by engaging in their crafts on a regular basis. They were always working toward getting better and, as a result, they got better and better.
So, in short, as with anything, if you don’t write regularly, you won’t be a great writer. The only way to get better at writing is to practice and practice often. You should be writing every single day, at least in some capacity.
No, you don’t have to churn out 5,000 words. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to set a goal of at least a few hundred words.
These don’t need to be pristine, ready-to-print words either. Just sit down, focus, experiment with different sentence structures and see what kind of writer you can become.
Over time, your writing will become more polished and you’ll develop a unique voice. But you’ve got to say at it. Always make an effort to work on your craft.
2. Count on Several Drafts
You might get lucky and strike gold at times, but, in general, written pieces require more than one draft. After all, there are several components involved in a good piece of writing. You’re probably not going to nail them all on the first go-round.
Complete your first draft by writing naturally. Once the main ideas are down, read through the piece and correct mistakes. Once those mistakes are corrected, read through the piece again and figure out ways in which you can enhance it.
Consider bringing outsiders in for a gander as well. In many cases, outsiders can judge a piece of writing better than its writer can. This will likely be true for most of your pieces as also.
In short, count on several drafts. Don’t get discouraged when the first draft isn’t perfect. It’s not supposed to be.
3. Read Often
You could spend hours or days brushing up on what’s grammatically correct and what your writing is supposed to look like. But, when it comes time to actually write, it’s probably not going to do you all that much good. Sure, your writing might end up being grammatically correct, but it could very well end up lacking a unique voice as well.
This is why, instead of spending time brushing up on grammar, you should just read instead. Read the newspaper, read articles on your favorite websites, read fiction books, read non-fiction books. Just soak in as much writing as possible and let it subconsciously inform your own writing.
While reading, pay attention to how the writer is using language. Be mindful of sentence structure, the use of punctuation, the ways in which the writer is setting up paragraphs, and so on. If you find a writing technique that you like, you can incorporate it into your own writing.
4. Do Away With the Distractions
Unlike some activities, writing requires your full focus and concentration. If you’re not 100% into it while it’s going on, you’re not going to produce quality work.
So, when sitting down to write, you need to do your best to eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV, turn off the music, shut the door, close the window, and create a calm environment for yourself.
This will enable you to focus solely on the paper or word processor that’s in front of you. And once you’re at that point, you can give it everything you’ve got.
5. Use Online Resources
The internet is a beautiful thing (in some ways, at least). It’s made swaths of information available to anyone with a smartphone or a computer. For a writer, it’s something of a goldmine.
See, you can find all sorts of writing resources online. Whether you’re trying to write a contract proposal, or a novel, or a newspaper editorial, or a journal article, or otherwise, there is bound to be a resource online that can assist you.
Search for these resources with your preferred search engine and use them to become better at the type of writing you’re doing. They can provide you with all sorts of tricks and techniques, and, over time, can transform you from a novice to an expert.
6. Have Your Work Reviewed By Others
This is probably the hardest part of writing, and, yet, it might be the most important part as well. In any case, you have to have your work reviewed by others.
After all, that’s who you’re writing for anyways: others. So, while you do need the talent necessary to get your ideas down in a proper manner, the way you yourself perceive your writing is, more or less, meaningless.
In short, it’s only good writing if others believe it to be good writing. So, get others involved and see if they can help you clean anything up. Odds are, they’ll be of great assistance to you.
Become a Better Writer By Putting These Tips to Good Use
If your goal is to become a better writer, you need to put these tips to good use. Practice them regularly and, with time, you will start producing high-quality work.
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