Improve Your Writing Skills
A writer who writes for a living (part time or full time) should continually work at improving his or her skills. You can be at the top of your game and still continually boost your skills so that your writing gradually improves and so that you continually enjoy the process of crafting with words.
Here are some tips to help you improve your writing skills:
- Enhance your vocabulary. Subscribe to dictionary.com and they’ll send you a “word of the day”. This is a great way to prevent becoming stale.
- Write something new. Learn to write press releases or e-book. Step outside of your comfort zone.
- Get technical. Write a structured poem, for instance. Put yourself in a frame of mind where you need to follow directions with your work.
- Check your work for instances of repeated word use. Textalyser.net is a great tool as you can analyze a piece of writing and look at your readability level, look for instances of overuse of words and phrases, and so on.
- Edit your old work. Pull out a piece you wrote a year ago and see how it looks to you today. Try polishing it.
- Edit someone else’s work. Pull out a newspaper, magazine, or a book. Rewrite an article so it reads better.
- Take a class. You’ll find creative writing classes or business writing / copywriting classes locally and online. It’s not just about being taught new skills, it can also be about sharing with others and be about getting inspired.
- Read. Read any good books lately? Writers who read tend to feel more inspired to write.
- Follow some writing coaches online. You’ll find plenty of online newsletters, blogs, and article sites that are dedicated to sharing information to help writers with their careers. Subscribe subscribe to this blog for example (sign up box in right sidebar) and you’ll get a regular stream of info sent your way that can help you with skills and inspiration.
- Limit your word count. By limiting how many words you can use you force yourself to be succinct. If you’ve ever used Twitter, you’ll know that you only have 140 characters to say what you need to say. It forces you to come up with ways of saying more with less. This is a great exercise!
- Read writing books. There are some great books out there that are designed to help you help yourself with writing skills. (Search ‘improve your writing skills’.)
- Write. Don’t just write for clients, write for yourself. Write a journal, work on a novel, do writing prompts. Continually writing creatively will help you develop your skills. Consider joining writing contests, taking part in a writing circle where writers share their creative writing, doing writing prompts, and so on.
Writing professionally can be exhausting at times and you might fall into a rut and not realize it. Just like athletes continually need to train in order to improve their skills, you as a writer should do the same. Not only will you get better at writing on a constant basis but you’ll probably enjoy it more as well.
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