Writing is a wonderful way to express yourself. In this age of social media, where opinions and posts can trigger entire revolutions (for instance, the Egyptian revolution that was mainly driven by Twitter activism) and become a potent force in driving social change (organizing protests, holding dissent rallies), it is of key importance that whatever views you hold are elaborated in a clear and concise manner to your friends and followers. Having good writing skills not only reflects the ability to think in a discerning and critical manner but also becomes an important indicator of your professional acumen. In order to become more eloquent and profound with the written word, here are 11 useful tips that you should diligently follow:
11. Keep a notebook handy
Many times, while listening to a lecture or a speech, engaging in enlightening conversations with friends or colleagues, we come across interesting sentences or phrases that could be used in both oral and written communication. It is better to keep a small notebook always at hand so that you can daily note down and research on such sentences and see what context they are used in. This will enhance your learning and help you improve as a writer.
10. Be regular
One of the most important things that aspiring writers forget is the mantra- ‘practice makes a man perfect’. No task in this world is so difficult that it cannot be achieved through regular practice and hard work. The same goes for writing. You have to be regular in penning down your thoughts. Initially, you might just manage to write a basic draft with simple grammar and simple sentences. But if you are regular, you will see a marked change in your writing style in just a matter of 3-4 months.
9. Go longhand for a change
It is the age of computers and connectivity. We have devices galore for every purpose and typing on a keyboard is the most common way to write an article or story. However, many people also feel that going longhand i.e. writing with a pen and paper opens up more creative channels for them mentally. You should make it a habit to write down whatever stuff comes on your mind longhand style at least a couple of times in a week.
8. Be a keen observer
If you travel regularly, then you must have observed the various hues of life through different experiences and interactions. Being a keen observer provides you the inspiration to analyze human society and express your views in a more relatable manner.
7. Read more
This is a point that cannot be repeated more. The more you read, the better you will write. Read works of classic and modern literature, and browse through wonderful websites like Arts and Letter Daily, BrainPickings or Longform to consume great content. You will eventually see a remarkable improvement in your own writing style.
6. Use a vivid vocabulary
Enriching your vocabulary and using the same while writing makes you sound more eloquent and composed. More often than not, if people see some high-quality words being used then it reflects on your understanding of the language and the situation in a positive. Always keep researching to understand the context in which different words can be used and make it a point to include them in your next write-up.
5. Use Distraction-Free Writing Tools
It cannot be denied that procrastination and distractions are the biggest enemy of productivity. It happens so many times that we sit down to write an article or blog post when we are distracted by some blinking icon in the system tray or some interesting listicle in the browser that makes us click on endless links. To avoid all this, it is quite useful to use distraction free writing applications like Focus Writer, Write Monkey or OmmWriter. Select any one that suits you best.
4. Proofread your content thrice
Whenever you appear for an exam, before submitting your answer sheet, you always revise it thoroughly to ensure there is nothing amiss, right? In the same way, proofreading your write-up is extremely important and this is a point I cannot stress on enough. Grammatical errors give a bad impression to the reader and reflects careless behavior. Write your first draft as fast as possible and devote maximum time to editing and smoothening out any rough parts before making the final submission.
3. Avoid redundancy
To become a better writer, you must be clear and concise to the point. Avoid redundant sentences. If you have already talked on a topic, then do not beat around the bush and make the same point in a different manner again. To grab the attention of the reader, you should be able to put across several good ideas in a short space.
2. Do not strive for perfectionism immediately
Many people get bogged down by expectations and also when they read the works or opinion pieces by seasoned journalists and authors. Remember, everything takes time and you don’t need to become perfect in a short span of time. Writing is a skill akin to a piece of furniture that needs to be sharpened and sawed before it becomes a thing of admiration. Work slowly, keep improving and you will eventually read the apex.
1. Get constructive feedback
Constructive criticism can be the most powerful motivational factor in making people successful. Getting the right kind of feedback compels you to work harder and makes you more determined in achieving your goals. However, be wary of excessively pessimistic people who won’t show any enthusiasm in your writing and are overtly critical all the time. Peer reviews are very helpful and if channelized in the right manner, can make you a better writer.