Improve Your Writing

  Everyone has a book in them, so the saying goes, but putting pen to paper can be a scary experience. I’ve touched on how to improve writing skills before (Five Ways to Improve Your Writing) but it’s such a big topic that its well worth revisiting.

Getting Started

Staring at a blank piece of paper or screen isn’t going to magic up words and sentences. Try to clear your mind and get rid of any distractions before you start. It doesn’t matter if what you put down makes no sense. You need to get into the habit of writing first before you do anything else.

Make It Easy

Peppering your writing with big words just because you think you should is the road to disaster. Make it easy for your readers. Obscure words, massive sentences and long paragraphs will just leave them cold. Be human in your approach and your far more likely to produce something people will want to read.

Make It Count

Once you’re able to write freely, ask yourself what is really essential. Why have you put in the information and are all your descriptions/ conversations etc necessary? If you get into the habit of justifying every section you’ll be left with what you need to keep.

Be a Fearless Editor

Knowing what to cut is a professional skill. If you have already stripped it down (see above) you might find this hard to do. A trusty pair of fresh eyes will help cut to the chaff and highlight areas which possibly need more work.

Say it Out Loud

Test out your writing by reading it out loud. It should be easy to say and full of natural pauses. Anything which is too clumsy or confusing should be edited. That way, when someone reads it they should be able to glide over the words with ease.   Even if all you do is write a page or two at a time, it will help build your writing skills and your confidence.  

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My Top Writing Hates

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