5 Tips on Improving Your Writing Skills

 

Underwood Champion, c1938

It boils down to this:  Read. Write. Review.

 

  1. Read more.  Yes, reading will help you write better.  As you read the works of others, you will become aware of various writing styles.  You’ll also learn new words and how authors make words work together in a sentence or paragraph.   Most-likely, you’ll see that writers use short sentences.  As you’re writing, take a look and see if a long sentence can be turned into two shorter ones.  Your readers will appreciate it.  Honestly.

  1. Become a student of writing.  There are lots of resources available, both on- and offline that can help you become a better writer.  Most of them are free.  And extremely helpful.  Take a writing class at a college or university in your area.  Or, take an online class like this one by Jeff Goins.
  2. Write more often.  Musicians improve their skills by practicing.  Runners become better runners by running.  Writers become better at their craft by, you guessed it, writing!  Write every day.  Whether you feel like it or not.  Here’s a nifty reminder to keep writing.    : – )
  3. Review what you’ve written.  Spell-check is a great tool.  However…proper spelling is just one component of good writing.  Using the proper form of a word (to, two, too; your, you’re; there, they’re, their) is a pitfall that many make.  I have seen COUNTLESS violations of this rule in blog posts, essays, and email messages.
  4. Read your work aloud.  When you think your essay or blog post is ready for publication, be sure to take a few minutes and read it out loud.  Hearing what you’ve written is a great way to catch mistakes.   There’s a big difference between seeing your words and hearing your words.  Don’t believe me?  Try it!

YOUR TURN:  How do you feel about your writing skills?  What can you do to improve?  Share your answer in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: mpclemens on Flickr

 

About the Author

Michael Hawkins

I am a husband, father, writer, and blogger. I am passionate about helping people make good choices.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    I feel insecure about my “voice.” Is that not what you meant by “feel”? I find myself wondering if people can hear my voice, or if they even like it. Imagine that, a writer being self conscious.

    Great post. Thanks Michael.

    • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

      Todd – We all get better with practice. Thank God for that, brother!

      Indeed, your writing has a voice. I can hear it. It says “I’m hear to help you.” And, “I care.”

      No need to be self-conscious about that. : – )

      • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

        Thanks brother.  I’m so happy you can hear my heart through my words.   Those words mean a lot to me.
        ——– Original message ——–

  • http://denisedilley.blogspot.com/ Denise Dilley

    Excellent tips, Michael!

    • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

      Thanks for the positive feedback! Positive habits (good choices) = success!

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    Writing is like anything else in life – we must practice. We must just do it. I like to print what I’ve written and read it in hand. I’ve picked up a ton of my mistakes that way!

    • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

      DS: Yes, it’s all about practice. If we’re going to get better at anything, we must practice, practice, practice.

      Great tip on editing: with all the ‘go green’ initiatives, we’re sometimes
      hesitant to print. But you’re right: sometimes paper is a good
      thing.

      Thanks so much for the comment!

      • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

        It really does make a big difference for my eyes.