How to Improve Writing Skills: 8 Effective Tips
“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”
We all write. Some write full time because of work, some write essays for exams, and others write on social media. Whether we are a professional writer or write occasionally, we always need to perfect our writing skills in order to convey our ideas more effectively. But what can we do about it? Let’s go through some tips.
1. Improve vocabulary and grammar
It’s a no-brainer that every writer should master these two fundamental principles of writing. Every language has thousands of words, and not even native speakers of a particular language are able to know all of them. A writer should be in constant search for new words, and thankfully, the internet allows us to gain access to a large amount of data. Online vocabularies or dictionaries are among them. With the help of Thesaurus.com or similar sites, you can find almost every word and its synonyms/antonyms. It goes without saying that without proper grammar skills, your sentences may not make any sense.
2. Read to Write
There is no denying that avid readers are better writers. Whether you are reading fiction or non-fiction, it all helps in the long run. Writers work with ideas, and there is probably no better source than books or newspapers to acquire new ideas. Reading your favorite writers may not just give you enjoyment, but can also make your writing more inspiring. There are also tons of different writing manuals on grammar, vocabulary, style, and structure that can guide you through your writing.
3. Rewrite or edit your previous pieces
One of the most effective ways to see your writing progress is by looking at your old writings. You will probably notice a lot of words or sentences that you want to update. It may even feel like a writing task where you should find the mistakes and correct them.
4. Research before writing
Writing is difficult without research, especially if you have no idea about the subject you want to write about. Of course, you can write about something using your own approach to it, but to make it better, consider having extensive research on the matter. Fortunately, there are books and internet pages about almost everything. You can also join online communities and share your piece with them to get feedback on what you can improve.
5. Judge yourself as a reader
Judging your own writing from the readers’ point of view is one of the most effective practices. See if your headline is catchy or if the structure is simple enough to follow. Too many unnecessary or filler words and sentences can frustrate you as a reader, so think of yourself as a reader and get rid of that kind of stuff. In other words, don’t write something you won’t read.
6. Record and transcribe
The transcript of your speech or the recording of your conversation with your friend can be beneficial, particularly if you are into writing fiction. Remove all the filler words and give it a structure. Transcribing may even solve your problem if you are running out of ideas of what to write. You can transcribe your recordings manually or use automatic transcription software.
7. Contractions, transitions, and linking words
If you are not writing an academic paper, consider using contractions like don’t, I’m, won’t, or can’t in order to not sound too formal with your readers. It makes your writing more readable and sincere. Transitions and linking words increase your writing flow and help to establish connections between paragraphs and ideas.
8. Writing tools
Even though they can’t replace humans, some online software lets you do basic grammar, punctuation, and structure checks. Most advanced features come with a premium subscription, so you will need to spend some money to get the most out of them.