Writing is an art that needs to be regularly updated. So, either you’re a newbie to writing, or you’ve been writing for a while now. You still have to improve your writing skill.
You don’t have to eat yourself up on how to improve your writing skill. It’s way more comfortable than that. All you have to do is stick with this guide, as it is well detailed on practical and easy ways to improve your writing skill.
Improving your writing skill is about paying more attention to the structure and function of your content and how well it relates to readers.
How to Improve Your Writing Skill
Know the Basics
There are specific rules which guide the art of writing, and you shouldn’t disregard them. It entirely depends on your choice of language.
Therefore, to improve your skill as a writer, you have to get familiar with how words are used, the sentence structure, and the pattern of your chosen language.
As for writers who write in English, never forget the fact that English is a dynamic language, and the rules of writing seem to be changing every day. The way writers wrote 10 and 20 years ago is quite different from now.
Many newbies do make the mistake of killing their piece with too much use of passive voice. Hence, to maintain the efficiency of words, opt more for active voice than passive.
It’s better to say “the man killed the snake” than “the snake was killed by the man.
Can you see the difference (the effect)? When you use a passive voice, the subject of your sentence will switch position with the object.
Although, there are times when you’ve got no other option to make a sentence relate better than using a passive voice. Still, too much of it will drain the life out of your text. So don’t make a mistake.
Also, don’t be an addict to adverbs (words that modify verbs and adjectives). As strong as modifiers could make words and sentences, they can also make them weak.
Yeah, adverbs are useful. But when used too often, they tend to weaken the structure of texts. Several words can be used in place of adverbs and will function efficiently.
Don’t say “she is extremely attractive”. Say “she is beautiful”.
You may have “shouted very loud”, but it’s better to say “you screamed”.
Know and Fall in Love with Your Niche
As a writer, you should know what works for you and what doesn’t. You should know your strength and weakness (every writer has one).
What type of writing do you do best? Romance, science fiction, reports, thriller, etc., or even erotica. You could be good at two or more. It’s okay.
However, it’s even better to know which one works best for you. Don’t opt for a style because it’s one of the most profitable or because so many people fancy it. You’d be making a big mistake.
You can be king or queen in that ‘little’ niche. All you need is time to improve your skill in that niche better. But when you keep changing, you’d be a Jack of all trade.
Nevertheless, it’s good to broaden your knowledge in another niche. Still, be better at your niche, and don’t experiment on paid projects unless you’ve mastered others.
Fall in love with your style and niche, don’t get discouraged by bad comments from people who don’t see the value in your niche. Giving too much attention to those bad reviews will only keep you distracted and discouraged, and you won’t be able to improve your writing skill.
There are more people out there who will pay to read that piece, so let your focus be on them (Erotica writers often have this issue).
Understand that writing is a medium of communication, so try to be as natural as possible. Don’t force it. Else, readers will notice how hard you’re working, and this will make your text less attractive.
Write as you read. Relay words and sentences without pushing too hard. Write and communicate with your readers as if they are present and listening to you.
Being natural in your writing will help you avoid silly errors and enhance the comprehensibility of your text to your readers.
Simplicity is the Key
Contrary to the belief of many aspiring writers that ‘bigger’ words depict professionality as writers. It doesn’t!
Big words only complicate things and make readers quickly lose interest in your text. So don’t even try to impress anyone with that hectic vocabulary.
Readers want to understand your text, and that’s why they started reading your piece in the first place. Don’t expect them always to have their dictionaries every time they want to read your text.
Although there are times when those more significant words work better, still, your writing should be within 4th grade to 8th grade level of understanding. It will even help you gain more audience, and your readers won’t only be English Professors.
Dissect Your Ideas
Before you start writing, dissect your ideas. Write down everything you feel and every thought that pops up in your head.
Then, bring them together and carefully look out for those ideas that need to be broken down.
Don’t pile up too many ideas or information in a paragraph. Breaking them into different paragraphs will enhance readability, and your reader will enjoy your piece.
With this, you’ll be able to write more extensively on the subject. And you won’t have to disappoint readers by leaving out essential ingredients to spice up your text.
Make Reading an Obligation
To easily improve your writing skill, you need to read as well. Even the best and most successful writers are good readers, as this helps them keep their knowledge updated.
Reading to improve your writing skill doesn’t posit that you read only blog posts. No!
Instead, diversify your reading. Buy books authored by other writers and successful authors.
Pick up unusual materials and pay attention to the words, sentence structure, and pattern.
Diversifying your reading will also help broaden your knowledge of other niches, making it easier for you to write on them.
The more you read, the more you’ll get to know what works best for a piece and mistakes you should avoid.
Many writers disregard the idea of taking classes to improve their writing skills. Why?
Most often than not, they are concerned about other writers seeing them as less of a writer, or criticizing their texts.
No one is perfect! These other writers also came to learn and share ideas just like you. They wouldn’t be in the class if they knew all.
Meet up with other writers, discuss your latest projects, share ideas and ask questions.
You should also pay attention to corrections and imply them where necessary.
Do you know you’re the greatest critic of your work? After you’re done with a piece, critically check for where corrections need to be made.
Editing could be a little difficult skill for new writers. Yet, with more practice, it’ll get more natural. Another option is to ask for the service of an editor.
Be tough on yourself when editing your work. Don’t fall in love with any word, phrase, or sentence. Remove or replace if necessary.
Also, make sure every idea, thought, and emotions are well detailed and precise. Ensure that your piece flows logically from one point to the next
Don’t over-elaborate. Remember that a professionally edited work will appeal more to your audience.
Buy Useful Tools
A proofreader isn’t enough. Invest in editing tools that’ll help you polish up your writing. A good one is Grammarly.
As a writer, it’s even more advisable for you to have an editing tool before asking a proofreader for help.
I edit my writing with Grammarly, proofread it myself, and ask a friend (writer) to do the final read-through.
Write! Write! Write!
This is simple! It’s the first rule (although the last on my list) of becoming a better writer. Practice makes perfect. Keep on working on your writing skill by writing as often as possible.
As a blogger, I can write relatively about anything; finance, study hacks, social networking, content marketing, etc.
I’m not limited to only writing for myself. I write for other blogs as well. And this has contributed immensely to improving my writing skill.
Write about anything and everything. There’s no limit to the number of words you should write every day. So. keep writing.
Do you get stuck while writing? Check out this exclusive guide on How to Overcome Writer’s Block with Less Struggle
The more you write, the more your writing skill will improve. There’s no shortcut to this.