"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing" -Benjamin Franklin
No matter how old you get, the importance of writing skills never diminishes. Indeed, exceptional writing skills can help you in every walk of life. You can grasp your readers' attention via your written communication and ensure that your point is presented in the best possible manner. It's easy to miss out on finer points in verbal communication. Exceptional writing skills reduce the risk of miscommunication.
But, as you may expect, in order to make a difference your writing skills must be clear and on point/ And this is where most people falter. Luckily, there's always scope for improvement. How do you improve writing skills such that your written communication never fails to drive the point home? Let's shed some light on this.
The Importance Of Writing Skills - You Must Know
Before we get started on how to improve writing skills, let's first discuss a bit about why it's worth the effort.
"Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced" - Aldous Huxley
Let's face it. Good written communication is one of the most effective and reliable means of conveying your message. The main point is not missed due to other factors like body language and gestures. However, if your writing skills aren't up to the mark, your content ends up being confusing. And this wouldn't do you any good, irrespective of whether the written communication is personal or professional.
The goal of written content is simple. To convey a message such that the reader understands it clearly! Let's give you an example. When an employee asks his finance manager to send him the profit and loss statement sheet, he expects everything to be laid out in front of him clearly. If the manager simply sends the required documents without any explanation, will it serve the purpose? Of course not!
Without proper explanation, many things don't make sense. What might make sense to me, might not to you... And visa versa.
Clear and Purposeful
Effective written communication is not only productive, but also clear and purposeful. We don't realize how routinely we use written communication during emails and online chats. If your writing skills are profound, your reader will know what exactly you expect of him. If they are so-so the reader will be confused as to what is expected. A lot of time will be saved due to this.
Good writing skills have become even more critical in the current times. Most people these days have limited time. Furthermore, no one will give your lengthy essays a read. And neither will you be forgiven for grammar or spelling mistakes. When people read some content, they expect to find precise answers relevant to them. Surely, you wouldn't want to give the impression that you don't know how to string a sentence together to your clients.
Therefore, it has become vital even for businesses to endeavor to hold their reader's interest. Your emails should grasp your reader's attention, and do just that in the first couple of lines. Making your content concise yet valuable is the key!
Additionally, good business writing makes your business more credible. If the content representing your business fails to impress readers, your potential customers will be wary of availing your services. Good writing skills boost their confidence in you!
How To Improve Writing Skills?
Mark Twain famously said,
"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement."
Yes, not everyone has the talent to come up with a creative and inspiring piece of content. But with a little bit of effort, this is one skill that you can definitely master. Here's how!
Go Back To The Basics
Remember, you are never too old for basics. If you want to acquire exceptional writing skills, going back to the basic principles of writing undoubtedly helps.
Ensure that you master the basics of grammar and spelling without fail. Luckily, there are plenty of online tools available for this purpose.
Think Of Every Piece As Your Job
Every skill requires practice, and writing is no exception. But here's the thing. No shortcuts can transform you into a fantastic writer. You have to work on it and give it considerable time and effort.
One of the best ways to improve your writing skills is to keep at it regularly. Continue writing regularly and give it your best shot each time. It doesn't necessarily have to be a piece that you will share with the world. Even if you think nobody will read what you have written, endeavor to perfect it.
Make Reading A Habit
Reading regularly can make a drastic difference to your writing skills. Read blogs, news, and anything that you can find. Explore new niches and find challenging material that diversifies your reading and gives you an insight into unique writing styles.
Make a special note of the structure, flow, and word choice in any content that you read. Try to analyze the piece to determine what makes it click and what mistakes you can avoid to make your writing skills more effective.
Polish Your Skills Through A Workshop
No, there's no age to stop learning. If you think your writing skills warrant improvement, you can always opt for professional assistance. A writing workshop can make things easier.
You can join meet-ups and groups to meet similar individuals who want to upgrade their writing skills. Write something on any topic and share it with the group. Pay heed to their feedback and revise it accordingly.
Scrutinize Your Favorite Writing Styles Deeply
There must be some blogs or novels that appeal to you. It's time to determine what it is about them that strikes a chord with you.
Read your most preferred material as much as you can. Highlight the points, sentences, or phrases that you really like. Figure out what is about these elements that have won you over. Try to analyze how these writers maintain the flow in their pieces and incorporate their techniques into your writing.
There's no harm in being inspired by another writer's work. Keep in mind that we are talking about seeking inspiration and not ripping off someone's work. Plagiarism is a crime that can prove to be the end of your career.
Figure out what works for your favorite writer. Try to use their techniques to improve your writing skills. With time, you will develop your own style, but this will give you a good start.
Always Rely On Outlines
Starting your written communication is often the most challenging part, even for experienced writers. Your thoughts are all over the place, and you struggle to decide how to organize them all to compile a well-written piece.
It's best to start with an outline of your content. A plan will give you a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your piece.
Naturally, the outline doesn't need to be complex. It's merely a framework of your content. So writing few sentences about what the content should hold will suffice. Think of the outline as a roadmap that will take you to your destination. You can keep referring to it as you write the content to ensure that you don't miss out on anything.
It's Time For Editing
Once your content is ready, you will have to get started with editing. And this is where you have to treat your work harshly!
Of course, I get that you have put in great time and effort into the piece. But you have to now analyze it from a reader's point of view. Get rid of all the extra words and keep the message clear and concise. Be tough on your content, and don't hesitate to delete anything if you think it's looking out of place.
It's common for writers to go for complex words to sound smarter and well-informed. But remember, it's always the shorter sentences that create the most impact. Try to fit in maximum information in minimum words.
The First Draft Is Never The Last
More often than not, your first drafts will leave a lot to desire. You will probably hate it, but there's no reason to be too hard on yourself. That's what editing is for! Never hesitate to rework your piece if it seems off.
Brush Up Your Writing Skills Now
Yes, it will take quite a lot of time to master your writing skills. There will be times when you will feel like giving up when you wouldn't know what more can be done.
However, if there's one thing that can do wonders for your writing skills, it's practice. So ensure that you never stop trying. Read as much as you can and write regularly. Most people think that writing talent is inherent. But sometimes, all it takes is some effort on your part to un-tap your potential.
"A word after a word after a word is power" -Margaret Atwood
Do you want to ensure that your written communication never fails to convey your desired message? Do you wish to make potential clients impressed with your content? Maybe you feel you are losing customers because you can't translate the quality of your services into words? Work on your writing skills, and many of your issues will be solved. Written communication helps in every aspect of life. You will find the results worth your effort!
Catch you on the flip,
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