Writing better will allow you to boost your confidence as a writer and communicate your ideas the right way with your readers. Contrary to what many newbie writers think, you don’t need to spend years improving your writing. Here are eleven simple yet actionable tips that will allow you to sharpen your writing skills quickly – keep reading!
1. Start with the Basics
As with any other creative endeavor, you need to start improving your writing by focusing on the basics. You first need to have a strong grip on grammar. Boosting your vocabulary will also help you use better words when writing. A great way of strengthening the basics of writing in English is by revisiting the Parts of Speech. You’ll get better than a lot of writers if you can use pronouns and other Parts of Speech correctly. For example, you can start by reading the differences between “subjective pronouns” and “objective pronouns.” You can check the who vs. whom comparison to learn how different pronouns are used according to the structure of the sentence.
2. Read More Books
The best thing you can do to improve your writing faster is to read more books. Exploring the works of established writers will make it easier for you to understand what makes writing engaging, entertaining, informative, and persuasive for readers. Reading more doesn’t require you to spend all your day in a quiet library. If you have a tight daily schedule and cannot read all day long, you should consider setting some time aside for reading the most-read books in your favorite genre.
3. Participate in a Writing Class
It can get difficult and more time-consuming to improve your writing if you try doing so alone. To boost your writing skills in a short time, you should consider participating in a writing class. Getting actionable advice from your instructor and participating in writing drills with fellow writers will speed up your learning curve. You don’t necessarily need to join an in-person writing course. It’s better to participate in an online writing class if you have a strict daily routine.
4. Rewrite Your Favorite Content
A great way you can identify your unique writer’s voice and improve your writing is by rewriting some chapters from your favorite books. The process of rewriting forces you to represent the ideas of others in your own words, which boosts your ability to write effectively. You can pick some of your favorite books and mark the chapter you want to rewrite. After you’re done with rewriting, make sure you show your work to your mentor or a fellow writer to get proper feedback on your effort.
5. Learn How to Edit Yourself
Self-editing your work can allow you to identify the mistakes you make and also enable you to avoid those mistakes in the future. Contrary to what many people think, you don’t need to spend a lot of time learning how to edit yourself. You can read books on editing to strengthen your editing skills on your own. However, if you don’t want to learn editing for a professional editor, you can enroll in an online course to improve your editing skills faster.
6. Hold Yourself Accountable
Achieving your writing goals won’t be easy if you don’t keep an eye on your progress. If you find it hard to get the goals you set for yourself, it’s better to find an “accountability partner” who can keep your progress in check. It’s better to ask a fellow writer who can ask you whether you make any progress or not. But in case you cannot find a writer who can review your progress, you can ask anyone in your friends or family to review how you spend your time as a writer and how you can boost your productivity.
7. Always Follow Outlines
It won’t be easy for you to achieve your writing goals if you go down the “freestyle” path of writing. Instead of writing whatever comes to your mind without a proper plan, you should consider following “outlines” to manage your thoughts as a writer and achieve your writing goals faster. Developing an outline shouldn’t take a lot of your time and effort. You don’t necessarily need to ensure that all elements of your story are covered in your outline. Instead, you should develop a basic outline and start writing as per your outline. Doing so will help you boost your writing speed and help you achieve your writing goals without wasting your time and effort.
8. Avoid Being a Perfectionist
You will never be able to achieve your writing goals if you try “nitpicking” every single sentence you read. As a writer, you have to let your creativity flow, and only edit your work thoroughly once you’re done writing. Make sure you enhance your editing skills as mentioned above to ensure you can fix your writing mistakes when reviewing your work. Instead of rewriting again and again, you should consider getting advice from a skilled editor to get proper feedback that can improve your writing.
9. Get Rid of Jargon
Using difficult terms and phrases in your writing will not help you increase your readership. If you want more people to read and enjoy your work, you must avoid jargon and embrace everyday words to write in a natural tone. You should start improving your vocabulary by exploring digital thesaurus. Once you’re done with writing, you can also make use of tools like the Hemingway App to improve the readability of your writing and remove jargon faster.
10. Develop Your Writing Routine
Writing without a proper routine will never allow you to write better and faster. You need to develop a daily writing routine that helps you spend your time productively and ensure that you can employ your writer’s voice. You should allocate some time from your daily routine to writing. Make sure you choose the time for writing when you feel the most energetic. For example, if you are a morning person, you should start writing at the start of your day to write more creatively and persuasively.
11. Get Rid of Distractions
When you sit down to write, you should pay no mind to anything in your surroundings so you can stay focused and let your ideas flow properly. Try turning your phone off and avoid listening to music if it disturbs your thoughts.