Whether you are writing blog posts, essays or reports at work, we could all stand to improve our writing skills a little. You may think that learning how to write is something you cover at school and never again, but learning after college is so important, and no matter where you are at at the moment, you can always improve. Here are some ways.
Don’t be too fancy
As tempting as it may be to put in some overly complicated words into your writing, it really benefits nobody. In fact, if you are writing to explain something to an audience, the simpler, the better. USe the Hemingway App if you are unsure, as this checks your writing to see if it is overly complicated and encourages you to make it bold and clear.
The best writers are big readers too. The more you read, the more you learn about writing. Try diversifying your reading material to include newspapers, fiction, blogs, and essays and begin to learn what it is you like about certain styles of writing. For example, you could take a book that is traditionally known to be poorly written and see if you can identify the issues that make it so bad.
If you are writing for work, ask a colleague to read your work and critically review it for you. If you are writing personally, find a writing partner who will do the same, and offer them the same back. Not only will the critiques from the other person help you, but reviewing someone else’s work is bound to have a positive impact on your writing too.
Join a workshop or class
Although it can be quite daunting, there is nothing that keeps you quite as accountable as attending a writing class. You will learn a few new techniques, get the chance to get feedback on your work, and hopefully make some friends or writing buddies too!
Learn to edit
It’s not the more exciting part of the writing process, but it is very important! Editing your work is a skill that takes a lot of time to develop, and you can’t afford to be precious with your material. First drafts are not supposed to be perfect (or in some cases, even very good!), so let yourself make mistakes and then edit them out. This is something that will take some practice, but once you have nailed it, it will make a big difference to your finished writings.
It’s that simple. The more you write, the easier it will come and the better you will get. Try to challenge yourself to write different things, in different styles and see how you can change the way you write to fit different purposes. Write everything as if it is the most important thing you will ever create, and write as often as you can. Practice makes… well, pretty good!
Writing, even if you are being made to do it, can and should be a joy. Everyone can write, and everyone can improve these skills, so stop making excuses, and get on it!