Writing is one of the best ways to express yourself. Nowadays, a lot of people have adopted writing as a means of expressing and communicating. Blogs and internet are flooded with articles covering endless topics. People are writing about anything and everything. You can also do the same if you want to. Trust me; you can. Improving your English writing skills is not as hard as many people think it is.
When a person begins to write, his mind gets engaged in a distinctive way. Once he learns to express himself well through writing, he’ll also improve his communication skills and he’ll learn to converse with other easily. In other words, he will be able to open up his mind to others which will improve his relationships with others.
Even the most successful writers have tried and failed somewhere. So even if you are a wonderful writer, you’ll still face a lot of criticism, rejection, and mockery before you get there. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that it all starts with believing that you’re already a writer, regardless of the opinions that people hold about you.
Remember that becoming a writer is not an overnight process, it will take time. You’re going to have to work really hard. My own journey of becoming a writer, in fact, has been a long and rather unpredictable one with a few noteworthy tricks that I’ve learned along the way.
I’ve listed down some of the best tips and tricks that helped me become a better writer and I’m sure they’ll help you too.
Want to get started as a writer? Read on!
Write Daily to Improve Your English Writing Skills
The very first rule that you need to follow is to write daily. You don’t need an inspiration for that, just write about anything that comes to mind. Try your best to get over that hard “blank page” phase in order to move further. You won’t be able to progress until you learn the ‘discipline’ that writing requires. Writing everyday is the best way to improve your English writing skills. So write! Write! And write!
When I decided to work on my English writing skills, the first few days were indeed terrible. I used to stare at the blank page for hours and hours and mostly ended up playing games on the internet. But then I knew I had to do this. So then I began writing my daily diary on the notepad. After a while I began writing reviews of movies I watched, the books I read and the restaurants I visited.
Many writers argue that the most difficult step of a writer’s journey is the beginning. Like Ernest Hemingway, a renowned novelist, states that the most frightening thing he ever came across was a “blank sheet of paper”. So remember that starting is always scary, but you have to start anyway.
Write short sentences and short paragraphs
This is a tip that’ll help you throughout your writing journey. By keeping sentences short and simple, your writing becomes easier to read and understand. Complex sentences lead to confusion and frustrate the readers. If the readers get frustrated or bored, they’ll most probably scroll down or turn the pages without reading the entire content.
If you go through any newspaper or magazine, you will see short sentences and paragraphs throughout. It is because they want to make their content easier to read. Our brain absorbs information in a better way when it is divided into small parts. Long sentences and paragraphs stuff the reader’s brain with more information than he can absorb at a time. So divide the information that you want to get across into small chunks i.e. into short sentences and paragraphs. If you’re serious about working on your English writing skills, then one of your main focuses should be working on the simplicity and flow of your writing.
Be specific and avoid redundancy
This tip plays an important role in making your writing effective. You would definitely want your writing to leave an impact on the readers, so for that, be specific. One way to be specific is to eliminate filler words such as just, basically, actually etc. Overusing these words will make your writing vague and difficult to read. In this case, it will leave little impact on the reader. It is very likely that the reader will get bored and leave your article half unread.
Your writing needs to be precise. Try to simplify it by using fewer words. Remove ambiguous words like good, bad, stuff, thing etc., this will help make your writing vivid. Try using specific and simpler phrases as they are clearer and easily understandable. Even if you want to say something complex, try to simplify it as much as possible so that the readers don’t have to put in a lot of brain to detangle what you’ve written.
Another rule that you need to stick to is to AVOID REDUNDENCY. This is extremely important. If you keep writing the same thing over and over again, your readers will get bored and you don’t want that, do you?
By repeating yourself several times, you might think that you’re making your writing more specific but actually, you’re just stuffing the sentences and blowing up the word count.
Use Simple Words
Readers get frustrated when they have to google the meaning of literally every other word in the sentence. Most of the people have this belief that using complex words will make them a smart writer. This is NOT AT ALL true. In fact, it negatively impacts your English writing skills. Don’t ever confuse using quality words with using complex words. In reality, using simple words is the key to attract more audience.
When you write something, you need to have a clear idea about your audience. Whenever you write something, always read it from the audiences’ viewpoint to make sure it is easily understandable for them. When readers find your content easy to read and understand, it is very likely that they’ll develop interest and will be willing to read your content in future as well.
Also, try writing in a natural way rather than in a sophisticated way, this will keep your readers more interested in your content. People find it easier to understand and remember familiar words. So try using commonly used words in your content. Such as use
“Start” or “begin” instead of “commence”
“Help” instead of “assistance”
“Issue” instead of “promulgate”
However, in technical and legal writing using complex and technical terms is important, otherwise you fail to deliver your message across in the right way. In such cases, where complex words can’t be completely avoided, try using them as less as possible.
Revise and Improvise
Revising is EXTREMELY important while writing a piece of content. I would recommend you to revise one article at least 2-3 times after it’s written. Also, don’t only revise to highlight grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, but also to improvise the content. Try to make it more interesting. You might come up with a better way to put across what you’ve already said.
Revising is the key to improvise. Revising also helps you eliminate filler words and repetitive content. In other words, it will help you be more specific. If revising 2-3 times is too much for you, start off with revising once. Even revising once will significantly improve your piece of writing.
(PRO TIP: Write a freestyle draft first, don’t look for perfection. After you’re done with that, revise over and over again to dig out the essence of that piece of writing.)