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5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing

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 every time you need to write.

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5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing

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

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Key Ideas

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 it; in people, things, literature, music—the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls, and interesting people. There’s inspiration everywhere—you just have to be paying attention.

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 every time you need to write.

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 too high from the outset is unrealistic (not to mention discouraging).

A good exercise in nonjudgmental writing is to set a timer for 10 minutes and just write down whatever’s on your mind with little regard to what and how it’s written. Even if you need to do research for your writing, build a skeleton that you can add to by writing what you know, and research later. 

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 obvious mistakes later, but writing that reflects the way you speak often showcases the most authentic version of yourself.

Also, after you write, read it out loud. It helps you ensure what you’ve written makes sense as what doesn’t flow, is confusing or is missing words will become apparent.

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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Kurt Vonnegut

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"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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