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Writing

Writing is definitely not for the faint hearted and although it seems pretty easy to do, it is not. There are moments when writers have no idea what to do next, or start questioning their own ability to write well. Just like with any other skill, writing requires practice to perfect. When I say perfect, I simply mean to write well, because there is no such thing as flawless writing. If you are able to communicate your message effectively, you are already halfway there.

Here's some tips to improve your Writing

1. Make sure you’re clear on the concepts you’re writing about

Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Before you start writing, take a moment to mentally explain the concept to the six-year-old who lives inside your head. (We all have one, don’t we?) If your writing goal is to achieve a specific result, ask yourself what that result should be. Before you dive into writing, have a clear purpose. Then stick to it.

2. If the message is complex, outline it

It doesn’t take much thought-organizing to compose the average text message, but if you’re writing something more complex, with multiple angles, questions, or requests, get all that stuff sorted before you sit down to write. Making an outline, or even just some quick notes about the topics you want to cover, can save you time answering clarifying questions later. And speaking of questions . . .

3. Anticipate your readers’ questions

Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Do they have enough context to understand what you’ve written for them? If not, fill in the blanks. But . . .

4. Don’t over-explain everything

If you’ve taken the time to organize your thoughts in advance, you should be able to keep things simple. The idea is to give readers just enough to understand what you’re communicating without overwhelming them with trivial details. If you find yourself getting in the weeds with more details than you need, look at each piece of information and ask whether it’s essential to help your reader understand your message. If not, get rid of it.

Your Writing

We sometimes write like we talk, and that can be a good thing. It keeps our writing conversational (more on that in a moment.) But rambling, wordy writing makes your text hard to read, and it can make you sound as though you lack conviction. Start practicing these skills to streamline your writing.

5. Go easy on the prepositional phrases

When I was a neophyte writer, someone showed me how prepositional phrases made my writing unnecessarily wordy and complex. It was an epiphany! Prepositions aren’t difficult to understand, but the concept does require some explanation. Get smart about prepositions here, and then try to simplify them whenever it makes sense. Your writing will get a much-needed clarity boost.

6. Eliminate the filler words and phrases

Some words show up in our writing all the time, and yet they don’t contribute much of anything. Although these filler words and phrases sometimes add color or even meaning, most of the time they contribute nothing but clutter. Here are thirty-one of them you can eliminate right now.


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7. Don’t pad weak words with adverbs

Adverbs—those words that often end in -ly—modify verbs and sometimes adjectives. They’re okay once in a while, but when you find yourself using them all the time, you’re probably making weak word choices. Instead of “ran really fast” write “sprinted.” Was something “extremely funny”? Nah, it was “hilarious.” The scenery may have been “very beautiful,” but your writing’s going to shine if you refer to it as “gorgeous,” “lush,” “verdant,” or “bucolic.”

Your Writing More Conversational

8. Stick with simple words

Bestselling author John Grisham said, “There are three types of words: (1) words we know; (2) words we should know; (3) words nobody knows. Forget those in the third category and use restraint with those in the second.” There’s a difference between having a rich vocabulary and dropping million-dollar words into your writing just to show off. Unless it’s your intent to be poetic, keep your language simple and direct. I’m certain sure you are able to can deliver the quality of work we’re looking for. Let’s discuss talk about it in our meeting next week. 9 Use contractions. English speakers use contractions—you’re, I’m, we’re, they’re, can’t, didn’t. Your writing will sound stiff and formal without them. For example: I am sure you are able to deliver the quality of work we are looking for. Let us discuss it in our meeting next week. Now, let’s add some contractions. Doesn’t this sound less stuffy? I’m sure you can deliver the quality of work we’re looking for. Let’s talk about it in our meeting next week. 10 Try transcribing yourself. Record yourself talking. You can learn a lot about conversational writing using this one weird trick! (Sorry, Buzzfeed, we tease because we care.) Try transcribing a conversation you’ve recorded (with the other person’s permission, of course). Transcribe a couple of minutes of the conversation word-for-word. Then, fix or remove any false starts and remove filler (um, uh, like, you know)—et voila!—you’ve got yourself some conversational writing. The process of transcribing and editing will help you learn what to do and what not to.

11. Keep your sentences simple

Literary greats can write long, complex sentences with flair. Why not you? Well, for starters you’re probably not trying to write like Tolstoy, Nabokov, or Faulkner. Short, less complicated sentences are easier to read. Keep it simple, silly! But do vary your sentence length so your writing has a nice flow.

12. Read it out loud

Speaking of flow, reading your writing aloud can help you determine whether it flows smoothly. If it sounds choppy and clipped, add a few longer sentences to break up that steady, monotonous beat. If you find yourself stumbling over parts, you’ve probably found an overly complex sentence that needs rewriting. I always recommend reading your work out loud . . . because it works!

13. Infuse your personality into your writing

Letting your personality shine through is the best way to develop a writing style. Use the phrases and slang that you would normally use (within reason). When it’s appropriate, throw in a relevant personal anecdote. In all but the most formal or professional writing settings, be yourself when you write.


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14. Random sentence building

This is one of the most effective exercises when it comes to improving your writing. Open a book at look at a sentence. Use that sentence as the beginning of a story of your own. With this exercise, you use the sentence and build upon it. Your story can go anywhere when you already have a start. It does not have to be the same or close to the story you took the sentence from. In this way, you are not only practicing your actual writing, but you are also required to become creative.

15. Guides

Start with a topic that you know enough about to start writing a guide. This one really challenges the brain and allows you to come up with steps you did not even know existed. You can also use this as a research opportunity to increase your knowledge on the subject. There is always more to learn about any topic and the deeper you dig, the more you learn. You can always use this guide as an actual piece of work if it turns out to be good. Find a good phrasing tool online to help you when you are stuck.

16. Read

Even though this is not a direct writing exercise per se, it is one of the best habits you can have to be a good writer. When you read, your mind is relaxed and you merely enjoy the process, while learning. There is so much good that can come from reading and the benefits to writers are endless. When you are busy reading a novel for example, take note of the writing style as well as the way the author expresses themselves. You can use some of the techniques to help you improve your own writing.

17. Movies

Choose 2 of your favorite movies and select your favorite scenes in each one. Then you want to use these scenes and figure out a storyline if you were to combine the two. You already love the movies, so you should be pretty hyped up about it at the start. Now, you want to include all the characters in your scenes into this one script. Make it as exciting as you want to make it, or simply write a boring story. The idea here is not to win an Academy Award, but rather just a fund exercise to help improve your skills. You really have nothing to lose in this instance, but a lot of knowledge and skills to gain.

18. Summarize

A challenging task for many writers is to summarize a large amount of content. As writers, we love to write often and a lot, so it is almost going against the grain when having to summarize anything. A phrasing tool comes in handy, but try and do it on your own. You do not have to start with a big task at first. Perhaps take a 2000 word article and try and summarize it into 100 words. As you improve, you can always use this exercise on a novel or something a bit bigger. You will challenge your brain and your writing skills will be greatly improved.

19. Conclusion

Becoming a great writer takes time and there really is no hurry to get there. You simply want to practice your art every day. Many writers have a minimum amount of words they would ideally like to write a day. This helps with consistency and this is very important to writers. Creating a new habit will take some time, but after a while, you will find your perfect routine. If you can only commit to writing 200 words a day, then that is what you do. The idea is not to see who can write the most, but rather, who does so consistently.

20. Practice, practice, practice!

ultimate way to make your writing better is to learn what weakens it in the first place, and then set your mind to fixing (and eventually preventing) the glitches. The more you write, edit, and proofread, the better you get at it.

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