Writing can be a challenging task for many people, especially for those who are not proficient in writing daily. That said it doesn’t have to be frustrating and you can certainly improve your writing skills with some good discipline and opening yourself to learn. While it is obvious that spending time on more writing and reading can help, there are other means to significantly improve your writing skills. Here are 10 simple ways to start improving yourself as a writer right now.
1. Making things simple
While utilizing a large vocabulary is nice and worth going for, it would be much easier to know you don’t necessarily need a huge vocabulary to write well. Using complex vocabulary could complicate the message that you intend to convey as it makes things harder for your readers to understand.
2. Use short sentences
Long sentences can be hard for your readers to follow. A length of approximately 25 words or less is a great rule to follow. Majority of the sentences can be shortened or broken up for easier reading. Refer to these tips for writing shorter sentences:
- Read the sentences aloud, if you need to take a breath before you could complete it, you need to shorten or break up the sentence.
- Try to avoid wordiness by taking away unnecessary modifiers and breaking up long descriptions into several sentences.
- If the topic you are covering is complex, try to balance it by using short sentences to explain things. Even if the sentences may sound choppy, your readers will be able to remember a short sentence better compared to a long explanation.
- Avoid clutter especially if your sentences contain several points. It’s best to break them into a list.
3. Avoid any redundancy
Your readers can get the point the first time. Explaining things again can be a time waster and writing space. If you are trying to hit a word count, it would be better to add relevant and useful information instead.
4. Take out the fluff
It’s unnecessary to add filler words that do not contribute anything to your content and readers alike.
5. Structure it tight
Similar to taking out any fluff from your writing, although here, you are looking at reducing your overall word count. If you can explain the same thing in half the words, do so. You will be able to save your reader’s time.
6. Avoid using cliche terms
Most English-speaking and non-native English speakers are familiar with these types of idioms. While it’s essential to understand that not all terms make literal sense, they contribute little to your writing.
7. Using active voice
While not always, but mostly, try to write in the active voice whenever it’s suitable. It’s the shorter and clearer approach to express your thoughts to the readers.
8. Avoid using empty words
Certain words tend to be overused to the point where they do not provide any significance to your writing. For example, words such as amazing or awesome are unnecessary. It’s best to replace or remove them with better phrases for more impactful writing.
9. Use proper nouns and watch the adverbs
Utilizing proper nouns is a great way to add interesting information into your writing and adverbs can add diversity to actions. That being said, you can pick a more specific verb that removes the need for an adverb.
10. Proofread, edit and correct your mistakes
Remove any words that aren’t needed, unless there are applicable specificities. Lastly, choose suitable words, rewrite anything that isn’t clear and remove any typos and grammar mistakes.
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You Jing is a content writer who writes career and lifestyle contents to inspire job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.
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