Being a writer is not like being an engineer, a doctor, or a mathematician. It’s not science that can be learned or thought. However, it is something that can be improved in many ways. To become better, you must improve writing skills first.
There is no clear formula for becoming exceptional as a writer. But there are tips that you can follow to understand what the skillful ones do. Some of those tips might sound like basics, but they shouldn’t be neglected.
Although everyone has a different approach when expressing with words, there are a few fundamental points which you need to advance in order to improve.
1. Read More
The first step to improving your skills as a writer is to make sure you are reading enough. Every day, try to at least meet how much you are going to write and read twice than that. And it doesn’t necessarily mean read only books, but also articles and other blogs that you are fond of. This is also an interesting way to overcome your writer’s block!
If you like someone and the way they write, try to analyze what technique they are using. How are they expressing themselves, what words they are using? As well as that, what is the structure, what do they start and finish with?
All of that will give you an insight into how maybe you can try to write. It will also inspire ideas and a different perception of how things work. As well as that try to understand what you like about what you read and you will get closer to the intent of the author.
2. Write Down Ideas
A lot of people, not only writers, get many ideas but more than the half of them disappear because they are forgotten. You can get inspired by a word you heard while walking on the street, you can see a situation in front of you on the bus station, or anything really. And while that is happening you think your idea is great and there is no chance you will forget it.
But you do. Because after an hour something else happens and you get another one. And then another one. So, try bringing a small notebook with you to write down your ideas when they appear to you. Or if you think you can’t do that, then just write them down on your phone. This won’t particularly improve writing skills but it will give you more vision.
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3. Edit and Reread
Another important matter that will help you advance your skills is definitely the editing part. And this is valuable in so many aspects. First, if you can get someone else to check your text would be great. Or at least use one of the tools that are available for grammar and spelling check.
If not, you should at least do it by yourself. Don’t fall in love with your work. The first draft will most probably not be good. Accept it. Move on. Write something else. Add and delete. Don’t be afraid to criticize your own creation.
This will lead to far more progressive work and results. Editing means not only the words you wrote but how you did it. Maybe a second read will give you another approach or idea to include. Success is a process of work. Don’t forget that.
4. Be Honest and Original
Now, this is something personal to achieve but not impossible. A lot of beginners are not always being completely honest. They try to fit into frames and not fall out of the line. Furthermore, they are following what others are doing and how to be like them in order for people to like them too.
But this is not how it works. If you want someone to like your work, you need to tell them something no one else does. Or at least do it in your own way, so that they will believe you. They will find it interesting and will want to come back for more.
To write in an original way is not something I can tell you how to do. It comes from your perception, from your beliefs, and what you want to say. What I do is try to think of an interesting example to underline what I am trying to pass along. But your approach depends on you only.
5. Add Value, Tell a Secret
Speaking of being honest and original, to improve writing skills and to have a better result, you also need to add a special value to what you are doing. Tell something no one else is brave enough to say, tell a secret you have or anything else that comes to mind. Being extraordinary is what people recognize themselves with.
Often when people that want to write their stories think that they are not outstanding. Others have heard them already. But what you should know, is that others have not heard the stories the way you can tell them. Everyone has and should have a personal touch that adds to the recipe of exceptional writing.
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Being more practical, doing research before you write, is also something that helps you to improve writing skills. Not only because it makes you look like you know what you are talking about, but because… you really do.
Nothing can give you more insights than knowledge. When you are confident about a certain material you can give more to your readers. Doing research is just another strong way to be ready if you have to write an article for 60 minutes!
A quick final add to everything above is the outline. Having a draft, a plan, and an outline as much as those are close to each other, is significant to get a valuable result. Don’t think you know everything. Don’t only your talent to get you somewhere. There are times that you need to spend time, effort, and thinking on a matter for it to become something for others.
To Sum Up
- Read More
- Write Down Ideas
- Edit and Reread
- Be Honest and Original
- Add Value, Tell a Secret
- Research and Outline