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A Brief Guide to Knowing Old and Often Unheeded Steps to Improve Your Writing Skill
To improve writing skill often involves one’s unconditional submission to some core essentials and their honest fulfillment with passion, commitment and perseverance. In simple words, to be a good writer you have to follow some steps, very important ones with fealty and dedication.
Here are some of those based on my own personal experience (though I am not a good writer :)
Just love it
What do you think is the most important essential above others to keep a relationship longer and flourished? You don’t have to tax your brain, as the answer is not so turbid. It's LOVE!
Yes, just as a crop needs manure to flourish and become a good harvest, just as a relationship needs love and care to prosper, and just as your body needs regular care and maintenance to attain good shape, at the same way – your writing needs love, care and regular heed. Pay it.
Read a lot
How many of you truly believe that reading hones skill and trumps the talent in writing? If you don’t believe it, then BELIEVE it. Reading is (sadly) one of the unheeded essentials, which if followed, can contribute notable improvement in writing and it will make you a good writer.
To this context, my humble suggestion is to read those books that you want to be a writer as. For instance, if you are found of writing on subjects related to cutting-edge technologies, thier influence on human society, and other things related, then read books that deal with these concepts/things. If you want to attain expertise as a writer in financial matters, read books/magazines dedicated to expansive definition of the financial concept. Just listen to the inner voice of yours, follow it and choose the career path in the subject you wish to excel. Trying to be a jack of all trades affords no excellence.
Write a lot
When it comes to improving writing skill, the amount of works you dedicate to writing actually determines its strength later. In other words, the way you work with your writing is the very way you improve with it. Talent trumps with hard work – always pay heed to it. If you ask me, I write manually on copy before I start to write on computer. Why? Because it helps me keep focused on my words. I am absolutely convinced with the maxim that reading a lot and writing a lot both afford eventually a notable improvement in your skill as a writer.
Reminder - If you can’t do it, sorry – beat it, find another job.
Never split the hair
Isn’t that self-explanatory? I hope, you don’t want me to go ahead with this.
Just a reminder here – never try to explain a thing in 100 words which can be said in 50 words. You beat the bush, you turn off readers.
Be familiar with audience
You are not supposed to knock door of every audience to let them aware of your next release of blog. You are not supposed to remind your readers by announcing your next blog thorough loudspeaker. AND you aren't supposed to send them a box of beers just because they'd appreciated your blog and commented few, great words on it.
None of them! Just be focused and be familiar with audience that looks for what you write. If you write on healthcare, your blog/article is great for like-minded audience, but it is CERTAINLY not likable for those searching something on technology/finance or any other subjects not related to yours.
Do Not Neglect Grammar
This is self-explanatory.
However, do not get obsessed with grammar. Writing must not be supposed to be 100% grammatically perfect. That’s my viewpoint. Just follow to an extent where you think it doesn’t KILL rhythm of your syntax. The rules of grammar change in accordance with their contemporary usages.
I have much to offer in support of my belief, but I am afraid, I can’t do so, as I have promised in the title to make every point of the article as brief and succinct as possible.
Think before you write
You can’t write better if your mind is devoid of quality materials. Hence, think a lot about a subject before you think to write. Use your latent imagination to craft ideas, jot down the key pointers, and then start to write. The excellence of post-writing is determined by the pre-writing research works. After all, you are not supposed to leap before you think.
Writing is nothing if devoid of powerful words. Just don’t use difficult ones, but at least make sure that your syntax is represented powerfully. The more words you have, the more aptly and powerfully you will convey your thoughts. Improve your vocabulary as that’s one of the key essentials to be a good writer. It makes write-ups evocative, powerful and engaging. You can even write a large sentence into one brief and effective narration.
Pay heed to language proficiency
How is your English? How's your Hindi? In fact, what is the efficiency level of language you write? So, if you write in English, make sure you are very efficient in the language.
To structure sentence is largely an art which is woven and crafted using words and effective use of the language you are endowed with. While words speak of the magnitude of power your language may have, practice to hone it up regularly will make it totally winsome. Non-English speaking writers have trouble in conveying thoughts as they tend to overlook their language flaws (no insult intended).
Don’t write what’s already known
For newbie writers, that’s not applicable, but for the experienced ones, that’s very important. You will not attract readers/audience if you tend to write same things they know sub/consciously. For instance, if you loosely suggest that eating an apple in the morning is helpful for health, it won’t attract readers until you mention the reason, something like - because the fruit contains soluble fiber, pectin (preventive for colon cancer and prostate cancer).
Write scannable content
A little birdie told me most readers hurriedly read content. Means, they do not read, just scan the whole content and in the jiffy moments, they decide whether to stay on the blog/article or not. Hence, besides writing informative and quality content, make it more scannable by pairing each paragraph with heads/sub-heads and pointers. If needed, highlight certain key phrases to lend gravity on the content you write.
For more information, I recommend you read my blog post - Six Ways To Write Winning Web-Articles that gives some insights about writing a good article.
I think, almost every writer makes a good effort to write high quality and engaging content. But that is not enough. Readers love piece of writing full of fun-witted explanation of a subject/topic. Writing is not something that only YOU can do. If practiced decently, even a novice will be able to write a good content. Give your readers something to amuse themselves rather than pussyfooting around and shooting the breeze.
You are not supposed to be just a pretty face in writing.
Follow them as well
- Proofread carefully. Mercilessly weed out unnecessary words/phrases. If needed, rephrase the whole sentence to sound meaningful and understandable. But do not edit while writing. First write, then edit.
- Speak out your mind, for readers must be aware of your likes/dislikes regardless of your say concedes to their discretion.
- Research your work thoroughly. Do not try to copy from others. If needed, credit the original source.
- Pictorial description is the lifeblood of any abstract idea to manifest it as real. Supply few relevant pictures/infographics in your writing to make it worth reading and sharable/clickable stuff.
- For SEO writers, do not stuff keywords. Write for readers, not for search engines. Include relevant keywords on first, second and last paragraph of your content, it will rank the content faster in search engines.
- Take a copy and pen with you anywhere you go, for thoughts/ideas run aplenty in and around your circumstances.