Do you love writing and you wish to be the next national bestselling author? Have you tried joining different writing contests and it seems like your greatness as a writer is not yet discovered? Or are you a writer by profession and your clients or boss keeps on telling you that you need to improve? If you are having one of these writer’s frustrations then maybe it is about time that you learn some ways on how to be a better writer.
Being a writer, may it be as a novelist, blogger, content writer, or article writer, is more than knowing the proper composition structures, having enough information for your write-up, or being fluent with your grammar. To be considered as a skilled writer, you need to master all these areas and even more.
Apart from being knowledgeable in writing’s technical aspect, you also need to have the touch of an artist in order to make your composition come to life. Meaning, you also need creativity to be an effective writer. Creativity allows you to express your ideas in a way that you are talking to your readers instead of just being informative. In this way, your readers will not be bored in reading your work.
If you think you need to improve in any of the important areas of writing, here are some tips on how you can be an effective and better writer:
1. Be a better reader
If you want to be a writer you need to be a reader first. First of all, as a reader, you have expectations from what you are reading. Therefore, you can apply those expectations in your own work. When writing, you could put yourself in your readers’ shoes and see what you would want to find or read on your own write-up.
Moreover, it is also through reading that you learn strategies on how to write better. You can apply the styles from those you have read that you think are effective for readers. For instance, if you want to improve your writing in the English language, reading in English can help you learn English idioms and ‘accent’. You can also master the use of prepositions and other English basic grammar rules.
2. Review the basic skills
If your concern is regarding your proper usage of grammar (if you are writing in another language, specifically English), you can improve it by just going back to the basic. You can read English grammar books or enrol in an English course to improve your grammar usage.
If you are having a hard time organizing your thoughts, you can review the basic rules in creating a composition, such as outlining and paragraph construction. You should know how to distinguish your main idea from your supporting details so it can be easier for you to organize your ideas. Proper organization of ideas is really essential to be effective in conveying your message to the readers clearly.
3. Practice for perfection
No matter how knowledgeable you are on the basic writing rules if you do not apply or use them, then you cannot improve your writing skills. As it is said, “Practice makes perfect”, and this also applies in writing. You should practice writing as much as possible if you are aiming for excellence in this skill. If you are working as a writer, you have enough time to do this. If you are not—but is determined—allot time for writing, even just for at least an hour a day.
For good practice, you can rewrite those that you have written before. You can examine what needs to be changed or corrected in them and revise them with what you have learned from your reviews.
4. Learn from criticisms
If you are practicing your writing skills, it is not enough that you just write and write. Of course, if you want to know if you are doing the right thing or if you are improving, then you need somebody else to check and evaluate your work. Usually, if it is your work, you cannot see the ugly sides, especially if you think you have given your best. Therefore, you need others to criticize your work and give you advice on where you need to improve. Needless to say, you should get someone or those who are certified professional writers to make sure that you will get comments and instructions from knowledgeable people.
Furthermore, you should not also be sensitive whenever your judges give criticisms on your compositions. You should take them as constructive criticisms and use them to improve your writing skills. Though sometimes this can be offending or hurting, you should be courageous to face critiques because it is only through them that you can get honest reviews on how you are doing as a writer.
5. Attend workshops
For total polishing, you can also grab the chance of attending writers’ workshops so that you can learn effective writing ways from expert writers. There are different workshops held for different kinds of writers. If you want to be a creative writer, you can attend creative writing workshops for poets, novelists, and the like. If you think you need to improve in your technical writing side, there are also workshops in this particular area. If you are more on writing news, features, and editorials, you can attend journalism workshops. Usually, these workshops or seminars are paid but there are also free ones.
6. Join a writers’ guild
You are not the only writer or aspiring writer who wants to improve in his writing skill. There are lots of others out there who also need help and guidance to improve their craft. You can find them in writer guilds or groups, and if you want to connect with them, you can join their team. By being surrounded by other writers, you can learn effective writing styles from them, especially from those who are already successful.
Writing is not just necessary for communication. Though anyone can write, not everyone can be a writer. It is an art that needs to be learned and mastered if you want to be excellent in it. Therefore, do not be satisfied of your skills now. Aim to improve and master these skills so you can achieve your dream to be the best writer.