Ways to improve your writing skills


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Categories: Article, Shuzia Magazine, Writing,

 

Growth comes naturally in living things. However, in learned skills such as writing, it comes through the intentional application of the writer to practices that will see them get better and better. One may attain the highest levels of proficiency in writing and yet fall too low levels in the absence of continuous growth and improvement. This article will walk you through some of the things that you can embrace if you’d like to see a steady and continuous improvement in your writing skills.

Practice makes perfect. 

In a world with a million opinions on any given subject, no one should downplay the significance of practising. One becomes a better writer by writing, much in the same way that an eaglet learns to fly better by actually flying. The eaglet is sure to encounter life-threatening wind gusts that seem insurmountable and even face the possibility of death by suction into aircraft engines. Yet these challenges don’t make the bird poor at flying but even better.

Writer’s block is the worst encumbrance to any writer. 

Nothing can be more effective at keeping a writer from writing than this phenomenon. You must learn to overcome writer’s block because it’s only by doing so that you have the opportunity to work on your writing skills. A practical way of doing so is by writing daily or as regularly as possible. Since man is a creature of habit, it won’t be long before writer’s block becomes a thing of the past if this approach is used. So one of the ways to improve your writing skills is by actually making the most of every opportunity to write some more.

Great writers are great readers. 

It is through reading other people’s work that you are exposed to better writing skills than yours. An athlete that never competes with others may never know whether their skills are wanting. Exposure to others who are better than them stirs them to become even better. The same applies to writing. Even though you may not realize it at the time, reading the work of other writers will naturally create a desire in you to write just as good as them, especially if they are authors that you look up to. This is especially applicable to non-fiction writing. The more material you are able to churn off the top of your head, the better your chances at presenting the materials in a better way.

Write with the end picture in mind. 

This is a great way of making sure you stick within the confines of your context. It might help to have an outline that will guide you at every stage of your writing. An outline will make sure that you can say exactly what you wanted to say using the number of words that you had planned to use. Starting out writing without a proper plan or outline is a sure way to end up in one of two unpleasant places. You may either say everything you wanted to say in too few words or say less than you wanted to say in too many words. Neither situation is desirable. So learn to have a plan for what you are going to write about. Apart from guiding you during the writing process, this will also free up your creative juices as you would have already mapped out the direction that the writing will take.

Learn to write using terse pithy sentences. 

This will make your work simple and easier to read. Compared to unnecessarily long words and sentences, short succinct ones are sure to get the reader hooked. The brain takes more time and energy to process a long sentence as opposed to a short one. Thus the reader is most likely to get tired or bored easily reading a piece that is generously permeated with the former. The same can be said of complex versus simple words. If your goal is to effectively tell a story or communicate with the reader without making an unnecessary point, then you should find simple words to be sufficient for the job. Brandishing convoluted words chanced upon in a dictionary may help you win a game of Scrabble, but it certainly won’t get you high scores with the reader.

Make technology your friend. 

Advances in robotics, programming and artificial intelligence have enabled the creation of tools that perform what was previously considered human tasks, even better. I am talking of tools that help with such tasks as editing and checking for plagiarism. Proofreading is a daunting task to many a writer. The temptation to hit “Print,” “Send” or “Save” without going through your work is understandably overwhelming. As tempting as it may be, the most logical thing would be to not hit that button until you have gone through your work. The good news is that with the advent of the aforementioned technology, you no longer have to do editing by yourself. All you need to do is get an account with platforms like Grammarly, where such services are offered, and upload your work for the computer to do the work for you. The algorithm used in these programs is so accurate it will catch mistakes that you would have missed.

Lastly, get some form of accountability over your good self. Letting someone else into your personal business as far as your plans are concerned can be the turning point that will turn your goals into realities. Consider getting a writing partner to work with you on improving your writing skills. With constant accountability will come an accelerated improvement in your writing skills.


 

by  Tolulope Olagunju Published

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