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5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing

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https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-simple-ways-to-improve-your-writing

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5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing
You've been wanting to write-for your blog, for your company, for industry publications, or maybe just for fun. But you aren't quite sure how to improve your skills. Well, we've put together a few fun and simple ways to get you started.

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Look Around

Great ideas can’t always be forced, but you can’t just wait for the right mood to write. Take advantage of the world around you for inspiration.

Develop interest in life as you see ...

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Find Your Space

Instead of trying to force yourself to write in a specific location, try out a variety of different spaces until you find what works for you. Then, recreate that cozy, creative environment e...

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Write Now, Edit Later

You can be your worst critic. So, when you’re writing, avoid judging your writing at first. Even experienced writers don’t often crank out a perfect first draft, so setting your expectations...

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Read It Out Loud

Write like you talk as it helps you sound more realistic and understandable to your readers. Try recording yourself talking for two minutes, then transcribing it. You can correct obvi...

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Just Write

The more you write the more you improve. Especially if you do it in different styles and try to use words you’re not familiar with in your writing. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The value of solid writing skills

  • Being a good writer helps you stand out from the crowd.
  • Repeated writing mistakes affect your reputation and credibility in the future.
  • Your writing is ...

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut

"Why should you examine your writing style with the idea of improving it? Do so as a mark of respect for your readers, whatever you’re writing.

The “5 Ws + H” method

... for establishing what and how you will write:

  • Who: Who is my audience?
  • What: What do they need to know?
  • When: When does this apply, when did this happen, or when do they need to know it by?
  • Where: Where is this happening?
  • Why: Why do they need this information?
  • How: How should they use this information?

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Organize Your Thoughts Before Writing

Organize Your Thoughts Before Writing

While there's something to be said for spontaneous writing, it really helps if you sit down and organize your thoughts beforehand. 

No matter your favorite method of organizing yo...

Set a Regular Schedule

Setting up and sticking to it is one of the best ways to perfect your writing. 

Do it in the morning for best results, and break it up into small increments to avoid anxiety. Don't write during unscheduled times, either (though jotting down notes is okay—inspiration can strike at the strangest of times). 

Keep Up with Good Grammar

Proofreading is an important part of writing, and despite some folks having a knack for good grammar, none of us is perfect. 

Be sure to take advantage of some of the great word tools out there. Not only will they keep you writing correctly, but they're likely to keep you learning new words and idioms to freshen up your writing.

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Output comes from input

If you want to have a lot of good ideas, you need to expose yourself to good ideas.

This means reading books, having conversations with interesting people, seeking out new experiences,...

Have a capture mechanism

Creative ideas often come to you when you’re not deliberately trying to solve a problem, when your mind is relaxed.

That's why your creative process must include a system to capture ideas when you have them, so you can work on them later. The simplest mechanism is simply to have a list where you keep ideas.

Incubate your ideas

Regularly review your ideas lists. Incubation helps because just as a spontaneous connection can generate an idea, an incubated idea can spontaneously mature into a plan of action if you take care of it.

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Benefits of writing faster

Benefits of writing faster
  • You don’t have to actively concentrate on the act of writing itself, but on thinking about what to write.
  • You can write your thoughts down immediately as you are forming ...

Fix your handwriting technique

  • Good handwriting technique: using your fingers as guides, and moving the pen using your forearm and shoulder muscles. This allows you to write quickly, without tiring out or getting cramps.
  • Bad handwriting technique: drawing the letters using your fingers, moving your wrist constantly, and repeatedly picking up your hand from the paper in order to move it across as you write. These issues slow down your writing and cause your hand to tire out.

Maintain good posture

Aim to be seated with your feet resting flat on the floor, and with your hips and lower back supported by the chair. At the same time, your knees should be flexed to approximately 90˚, and your elbows should be slightly flexed, with your forearms resting comfortably on the desk surface.

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The first draft

The first words you write are the first draft. Writing is thinking. You'll rarely know what exactly you want to say when you start writing.

The time you put into editing, reworking and re...

Common errors

Most writing mistakes are widespread, but good writers just get better at spotting them. Some things you'll learn to watch for are:

  • Overuse of jargon and business-speak, like "utilize" or "endeavor" instead of "use" or "try."
  • Clichés are stale phrases that have lost their impact and novelty through overuse. If you are used to seeing it in print, don't use it.
  • The passive voice. The subject of the sentence should be the person or thing taking action, not the thing being acted on. "Harry wrote this article," is better than "This article was written by Harry."
  • Rambling. When you are not sure what you want to say, it is easy to phrase it in three or four different ways. A single concise sentence is generally better.

Give it some space

When you write something, you get very close to it. It is nearly impossible to distance yourself from it straight away to edit properly.

The longer you can leave a draft before editing, the better. Half an hour to two days is enough of a break to edit well. When you do edit, read your work out loud. You'll catch more problems and get a better feel for how everything flows.

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...Writing and thinking have always been a sort of ‘chicken and egg’ issue: which comes first – do I read and think and then start writing, or will the thinking only really come when the wri...

‘Writing’ is the formal processes that turns nebulous ideas into a concrete proposal that can be assessed without the author's intervention. 

‘Writing’ is the formal processes that turns nebulous ideas into a concrete proposal that can be assessed without the author's intervention. 

The Writing Process

  • Step 1: Messy, Informal, Scribbly ... Write down anything that jumps from your research or any crazy thought. 
  • Step 2: Creating a Skeleton for the paper. Come up with sections, subheadings.
  • Step 3: Crystallise core arguments. Use stickies to make it more visual.
  • Step 4: Add the words. This is where most people start with, but it succeeds only because of the previous steps. 

Writing is intimidating. There’s this expectation of artful precision, mercurial grammatical rules, and the weird angst that comes with writing for other people. You start with a tidy nu...

Writing is Deliberate

Choosing the words to describe your work means you’re doing it on purpose. 

You’re going on the record as someone who thinks about why they do what they do, and understands how each decision affects the results. And developing this knack for critical thinking will also make you better at what you do.

Creativity expectations

Creativity expectations

Our expectations of how creativity should look like block us. Creative inspiration is all around us, but we don’t see it because we've grown up being taught to look for it in specific p...

How to feel more creative

  • Take a break. Give your brain some space to think of other things.
  • Expand your definition of creativity. You’re probably conditioned to look for it in specific places. Break that mold.
  • Limit yourself. Fewer tools and less time, counterintuitively, force you to be more creative.