Nobody becomes a great writer overnight. Like all other skill sets, improving your writing also requires hard work and practice – and crucially, consistency.
If you are on a path to improving your writing skills, you might be looking for easy yet effective ways to work on your writing. Below, we have included some tips that you might find helpful.
Read, and Then Read Some More
You likely want to become a writer because of the books you read. In other words, writers are shaped by other writers. What we read influences our perspective, our taste, how we frame sentences, or even how we look at the world.
So, suppose you want to improve your writing skills for your college term paper. Consider reading academic essays created by other professional writers. In fact, you can even visit academic platforms and pay for papers written on the same topics to find motivation for your college essay. This will help you write the paper quickly and even help with how you present your thesis.
Read With Purpose
So, when trying to improve writing, reading for pleasure might not suffice. Instead, you will have to take a more active approach when reading.
When you work your way through a piece of writing, consider how the author has tackled different subjects. Look closely at how they craft their sentences and build the narrative. Note down the techniques you find to be good and apply them to your own writing.
Take Advantage of Writing Tools
If you are looking for quick ways to polish your writing, you might want to consider using all the help you can find. And today, there are dozens of apps that are designed to help you with writing. For instance, these apps can pick grammatical and spelling mistakes in your writing, thus helping you save time when editing.
Some of these also come with in-built plagiarism checkers, which can be particularly useful for students rushing to complete a college paper before the deadline. These apps can also help you stick to a specific writing style and improve readability.
Outline Before you Write
A simple way to write better is to start by making an outline or roadmap for the content. This means that you will split the writing into different sections – such as introduction, paragraphs, conclusion, and more – before you start working on the draft.
The more detailed the outline is, the easier it would be to work on the draft. It will help you get back on your feet if you find yourself stuck during writing.
Edit Someone Else’s Work
Writing is only one part of the whole process. In fact, for a piece of writing to be great, there has to be significant effort put into editing it. Your editing skills will naturally improve over time, given that you are constantly working on your writing.
To speed up the process, you can try editing another’s work. For example, pick an article off the internet and try proofreading the piece. Mark any poorly constructed sentences, clichés, wordiness, and overall structure. You can even try rewriting the article to see how you would approach the subject and how different it comes out.
Practicing editing will help your overall writing process, as you will learn what to avoid to make it better.
Join a Writing Workshop
When trying to improve your writing skills by yourself, you might hit some roadblocks in between. As a result, you might feel like you are not making any progress, even after spending so much time. One way to get out of this rut is to join a writing workshop or a course.
These often give you a chance to share your writing with others who are also serious about the profession. As a result, you will not only be able to receive feedback on your pieces, but you can also give suggestions to other writers.
Moreover, workshops also allow you to explore different forms of writing and techniques. This way, you will try your hand at styles that you might not attempt otherwise.
Keep a Style Guide
Even the most experienced writers make mistakes. There is nothing wrong with going back to the basics if you think you need a refresher. In fact, if you are trying to focus on a specific type of writing, it would be good to set up a style guide that you can refer to whenever needed.
There are several guides you can easily find online that will help you create a style guide that is unique to your needs. You can also find thesaurus that can turn out to be very useful in building a solid vocabulary.
Edit an Old Work
Sometimes, it can be hard to recognize how far you have come in the journey. There is a simple exercise that can help motivate you. Revisit one of the older pieces of yours and try editing it. This will help you understand how your writing has evolved and what new things you have learned.
This can also be a great way to practice editing. This process can be really helpful in understanding how your writing sensibilities have changed over time.
Freewriting means following your impulse and writing whatever comes to your mind. The only condition is that your thoughts should be put down as words without any premeditation. To help get started, you can look for a freewriting guide online.
For instance, you can set a timer for a certain amount of time and start writing anything that enters your brain. It need not make any sense or be coherent in any manner. The idea is to keep the mind active and brainstorm. Freewriting can be a great way to get through writer’s block and feel inspired.
Build on a Prompt
If freewriting seems tricky to you, you can also pick a prompt from the internet to get started. Alternatively, you can also select a random sentence from an article or a book and come up with your own version of a short story.
Your narrative can go in any direction you want; however, you will be starting off with someone else’s words. This allows you to get your creative juices flowing by giving you something just enough to promote idea generation.
Stop While Ahead
In his book ‘Moveable Feast,’ Ernest Hemingway says that he stops his writing when he is ahead. This way, he will know exactly where to start on the next day and will have something in his mind to work out.
So, when you return to the page, you do not have to stare at the writing and think of how to continue. Instead, you can jump right back into the flow.
Find Your Best Time
All the tips and tricks might turn out useless if you are not in the right headspace. As a writer, you might notice that you perform the best during specific periods of time during the day.
For some, this might be early in the morning; for others, the night will be more appealing. Experiment through your routine to figure out when you find it most motivating to sit and dedicate time for writing.
Needless to say, writing is a process. Even after years in the profession, writers are always learning about new techniques and correcting their mistakes. As you write more, you will be able to develop your own voice and strong habits that will let you improve easily.