Writing is an art. Don’t you agree
You have to find your voice, style, and rhythm.
If that’s not enough, you have to obey the grammar rules, at least some of them. Periods and commas can be either cruel or kind to writers. If you don’t respect them enough, they can make your writing awful. If you give them the recognition they deserve, periods and commas wonderfully enhance your work with 15 good writing tips. What I’m attempting to state is that there are no shortcuts when it comes to writing.
Make a habit of writing every day.
The hardest part of learning how to write is learning how to do it better. And that requires hard work. But it’s rather unhelpful to say something is hard work without explaining what that involves.
Working hard as a writer requires determination. It is a determination to continue writing when you don’t feel like it, improve and study English even if you think you are already a decent writer and stay humble when your work does receive praise.
When you have determination, you can improve on anything, especially you’re writing.
Vary Your Sentences
I say short screw sentences (that didn’t work well.)
The standard advice is to write in short sentences. You place the subject before the object. Example: Fred walks to the store. Subject (Fred), verb (walks), item (store).
Short sentences can be the clearest because they are to the point. However, there’s nothing wrong with long sentences that articulate something just as well as a short sentence. Especially if it’s a writer’s preference to write in longer sentences, perhaps as an attempt to find their voice, rhythm, and style, which can be challenging to find for any new writer.
Personally, I like to vary my sentences because they avoid boredom for the reader and me. Longer sentences tend to be more exciting because it challenges me to write differently, instead of churning short sentence after short sentence over and over again.
1. Writing Tip
Start a paragraph with a short sentence. Gradually increase the length of your sentences as your section lengthens, adding a comma here and there. Maybe throw in a hyphen or a semi-colon.
Starting your paragraph with a short sentence helps the reader immediately see your idea, then you can warm them up to longer sentences.
Working as a copywriter, I find word usage fascinating. There are so many words a copywriter has to choose to achieve the most results.
That’s why a dictionary is a copywriter’s best friend, and it also should be a writer’s best friend. Dictionaries help with finding the true meaning behind words or finding a better name.
2. Writing Tip
Challenge yourself to find a new word every time you write. You’ll make yourself more of a sagacious writer.
You should also consider eliminating or swapping out these words:
Writing without stopping means to write as much as you can before you edit.
Type as much as you can on the topic you’re writing about. It will help you say what you want to say without interruption. You are freeing your ideas; you can tweak them later.
3. Writing Tip
Write without distraction, even without music. You might find that you can write quicker and more efficiently.
Sometimes just having a distraction-free writing session helps you crank out content more than you might expect.
Think About Your Readers
When I write, I think about my experiences and what I can share with my readers, which they can hold onto.
To borrow the marketing cliche: think about your audience. Think about your target market when you write. Every article should be for a specific reader, someone who learns the most from your work.
4. Writing Tip
Create a list of problems your target market has. Think about everything they are trying to overcome. This will help you think about topics to write on.
Writing about overcoming specific problems will only attract more of your core audience because they know how you can help them.
Read Out Loud
I don’t like to read my work out loud. I don’t know a lot of people who enjoy reading out loud. But doing it actually helps you find errors you wouldn’t usually see.
You’ll also discover how rhythmic your work sounds or if it sounds really choppy.
5. Writing Tip
When you read your writing out loud, think about how your ideas flow from one to the next. Do you understand what you are reading when you read it out loud?
If you don’t understand it, your readers probably won’t either.
After you finish writing, don’t look at it for a day, a couple of hours at the least. The goal is to avoid publishing your work as soon as you finish it.
Taking a break gives you a new perspective on your work.
Reading your work over and over again sometimes makes you immune to errors. You tend to glaze over things that don’t sound right.
6. Writing Tip
When you take a break from writing, read a book. Try writing for 2 hours and then reading for 30 minutes. Reading gives you something else to look at besides your own essay.
Create Actionable Steps
The hardest part about writing (which I’m the worst at) is telling the reader what to do.
You can share the world’s most extraordinary experiences, but it won’t help the reader if it doesn’t have a point or something actionable. Always have an issue with your writing. Give concrete steps on what the reader should do after they’ve read your article.
7. Writing Tip
Before you write an article, jot down on a sticky note what you want the reader to do. What actionable step do you want the reader to take after you write an article?
This can give your writing clarity and purpose before you even write.
Create an Outline
I’m not a fan of precise outlines, the ones with a heading, then a subheading, then a sub-sub heading.
Not a fan.
You don’t need a super-specific outline to write something great; you just need something to guide you. In the most basic form, you need an intro, a body, and a conclusion. From there, make it more complicated.
8. Writing Tip
When I write, I always think about my end goal — what I want readers to take away. Then I create an outline of how I want to teach that goal and how many levels it would take to reach that goal.
The more specific you are in your content, the more you can help people. Being particular helps people visualize your story.
Specific also means to the point. Don’t be vague in what you’re trying to say; just come out and say it. Drive home that particular point you’re trying to make in your writing. If you understand what you are stating, stand by it, say it with authority.
9. Writing Tip
Are you providing concrete details when you write?
Think about the five senses: smell, hear, taste, sight, and touch. Can someone use one of their feelings to visualize our story? When you write with the five senses in mind, it can help you write more visually.
Tell a Story
Everyone loves a good story. Readers don’t like someone preaches at them or telling them something with zero points to it.
A good story should contain characters and plot points that intrigue the reader to keep them reading.
10. Writing Tip
Before you write, think about who the characters are in your story. What they are doing, and the point of their journey.
Write About Your Experiences
If you can’t think of something new to write, draw on your experience. Everyone has different and unique experiences.
For instance, you can tell someone about your experience as a writer, what it’s like to live in a new city, or something interesting about your childhood. Use those experiences to tell a story that helped you learn something valuable in life.
11. Writing Tip
Keep a journal of your experiences, even the boring ones, because you never know what experience can tell a powerful story. And some people can benefit from your information besides yourself.
Edit Over & Over & Over
Every writer is immune to their own writing errors.
When you do edit, you should do it more than once and no fewer than 10x. You are reading for clarity, understanding, brevity, flow, and for the effectiveness of your work.
12. Writing Tip
When you’re editing, think about the categories you’re editing, you’re trying to improve. Don’t just read and make sure it sounds good. Ask yourself if you can use more vital words, fewer sentences, and more concrete examples.
Edit with a specific purpose.
Try to Be Original
A lot of articles say the same thing but in a different way. Sometimes this is unavoidable because what you say about writing could be similar to what others say about writing.
For example, there are probably thousands of articles on how to write better. Yet I chose to write this article because these tips help me as a writer, and it’s something I wanted to share. It allows me to express what I’ve learned, and there will always be readers who appreciate my articles.
13. Writing Tip
If you feel like you have a story to tell, even if it’s similar to others, still write about it. You never know who will learn from it.
How Did Successful Writers Learn How to Write?
J.R. Tolkien learned to read and write at age 4. He also learned Latin at a young age. After World War I, Tolkien would work on the Oxford English Dictionary and studied the letter W.
While you don’t need to learn Latin or study the entomology of words, it gives you an idea of what some successful writers did to master language and the art of writing.
14. Writing Tip
You don’t have to read a biography to learn about famous writers and how they learned about writing. You can just read about them online. Check out the history of your favorite writers and how they learned about language.
It can provide some inspiration in your own work.
What Would Your Past-Self Say a Year Ago?
What would your past-self say a year ago about your writing? What would they say a month ago? Would they say you’re too distracted, and you need to be more driven?
You can also compare your writing from a year ago and see if you’re improving. You can see if your work conveys more purpose.
15. Writing Tip
Jot down your 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year goals as a writer, and don’t look at them until you reach each mark. It’s the right motivation, and it keeps you accountable.
If you want to write more effectively, you have to find ways to improve each day because you don’t just want to be someone who writes. You want to influence those who follow in your footsteps.
We can be successful writers if we choose. We just have to understand what it takes to get there.
For the most comprehensive writing help! Check out GRAMMARLY! I use it for everything that has to do with writing.