Improve Your Writing Skills
The craft of effective writing is often overlooked in everyday life. Most people think that becoming a competent writer requires taking up creative writing or English classes in college. However, this is far from the truth. The first thing youâ€™ll need to become a writer is initiative. You should feel the need to become a better writer, and you should be willing to put in hours of work for its sake. Once youâ€™ve decided to take on the task of improving your writing skills, you can get started by doing the following things:
Read books about writing.
Most people are tempted to skip the basics, but good writers know that you need a strong foundation if you want to learn how to communicate your ideas more effectively. A good book to start with is Strunk and Whiteâ€™s “Elements of Style”. This short book is considered as â€˜the writerâ€™s Bibleâ€™ â€“ and for good reason. It simply and directly tells you the rules of grammar and composition. You can read it once and go back to it multiple times whenever youâ€™re in doubt about a certain phrase, word, or punctuation in your composition. If you want to learn how to do more specialized kinds of writing such as screenwriting or travel writing, or if you want to concentrate on a specific form or genre, you should also read books about writing for that specific niche as well.
Stephen King claims to write thousands of words per day â€“ sometimes they are part of his work, and sometimes heâ€™s just doing it for practice. Itâ€™s important that you set a daily goal and that you make a conscious effort to fulfill that goal. You canâ€™t become a better writer just by asking for it â€“ you need to put in the effort and the hours. You can start with 200 or 300 words per day, and you can write about almost any subject. If you donâ€™t know where to start, try writing a journal of the things that take place in your daily life. Eventually, you should move on to other topics to experience writing about a wide variety of subjects. The act of putting your thoughts on paper or typing them onto a computer screen will also help you get used to the rhythm of writing, and with time you will find it easier to get into a certain â€˜flowâ€™.
Attend groups, seminars, or workshops that will help you refine your craft.
Writing is a solitary craft, but learning about writing is not. By mingling with other writers, you will definitely learn more about the craft of writing and the art of developing good work habits. You will also be open to more ideas, and you can present your work to the group or to a mentor for constructive criticism. While you alone will make the decisions of how your final draft will look, getting other peopleâ€™s opinions wonâ€™t hurt you â€“ especially since youâ€™ll be able to learn how to balance othersâ€™ criticism with your own writing voice.
Learning how to improve your writing skills is important. Whether you want to express yourself better or you want to find work as a writer, your writing skills will soon be sharper if you regularly do the three things mentioned above.
[tags]Writing Skills, Improve Writing, Practice Writing, Writing[/tags]
May 21, 2006 Sunday at 2:16 pm