Practical tips to improve your writing
When you’re looking for tips to improve your writing you want it to be simple. After all, good quality writing is easier to read and understand. At least it is on social media.
Compare these short sentences:
Me good writer.
I write eloquently.
Writing is something I am very good at.
I write clearly.
Now while a single sentence alone isn’t really enough to judge good writing, you can form impressions from these. So, tell me, which sentence is better? Which one is more likely to convey trust in your reader? Somewhere inside you already have an idea of what it takes to improve your writing. And I’ll give you a hint- the answer isn’t as black and white as you may think.
7 Simple Tips to Improve Your Writing
1- Write for your audience.
Should your words be complex or simple, funny or serious, professional or relaxed? The answer depends on WHO you are writing for. If you dumb it down for a sophistated read on the topic, then it’ll look like you don’t know your stuff. However if you throw in some tricky linguisists to try to impress new readers, then you risk confusing and alienating them. Laying on some casual lingo can work for some content, but will just be distracting for others.
Know who you are writing for and speak their language.
2- Reign in the complexities.
My Dad used to remind me to KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid. Make it simple to read. Don’t overcomplicate when there’s no need to. This will just stress out your readers when they have to reread things on order to understand them. I mean seriously, who writes things like “reign in the complexities” when you could just write “keep it simple”?
Keep it simple. People need to understand what they’re reading.
3- Intrigue your readers.
Whatever your topic is there needs to be a promised payout that keeps them going. People read to be entertained or informed. Either way, there is something that hooks them into reading more. They need to know what happens next. Just don’t get so hung up on cliffhangers that you forget the previous two points. Then again, sometimes this point means challenging the boundaries of the previous two. Ponder that one…
Provide the promised entertainment or information and keep providing it.
4- Take a breather.
Massive chunks of text are hard to read and lengthy sentences should be used sparingly. Your reader needs time to take in each sentance and process it. So slow down. Breathe. Assess. Then move on. If you’re rushing to write things out it will show.
Give yourself space and give your reader space. Keep those sentences and paragraphs short enough to be palatable and make sure there is literally a visual space to break up the content.
5- Include variation.
Some of your sentences should really be written so that they are nice and short and easy to read. Some long. It’s very important that they’re not all the same. Unless, of course, that’s part of some creative strategy. The variation helps readers stay focused and interested. The same is true for which words you choose to use. For instance, you shouldn’t use the same word to start consecutive sentences… oops. Well, you definitely should avoid repeating them too often anyway.
Mix it up. Use different words and different sentence lengths. This helps keep your reader from being bored by your structure.
6- Nail your topic.
If you’re specifically writing about ice-cream flavours don’t get off track arguing about whether ice-cream is a suitable breakfast food or not. (It totally is). Don’t start analysing whether jellybean flavours have anything to do with the price of fish in China either. Yeah, I know. Confusing right? Focus on the point of your topic. Expand on sub-points. Then draw it all together. Wait, that’s another tip right there… and one I haven’t even included on my list. See what I mean? This stuff gets confusing.
Know what you’re writing about and focus on that.
7- Get someone to proofread!
No matter how well you write it always helps to have someone else proofread. A fresh, objective eye will pick up things that you messed. That’s because when you write something it can literally be hard to see anything other than what you intended to write. And you can’t rely on spellcheck to know your intentions. For instance, it would be totally humilating if I messed up on spelling the word missed somewhere in this paragraph. Unless I meant to… of course.
Get a fresh eye to review your work. They’ll give you an objective perspective and notice things your brain hid from you.
Wrapping Up the Tips To Improve Your Writing
So now you can be a professional writer too!
Well, maybe… I didn’t mention things like practice, mentoring, checking out what others do our content structure or getting in depth on style and format. They’re all important. In fact I could write a whole book on how to write. Indeed, there are plenty of these books out there. (See what I did there, using different ways of starting the sentence instead of just repeating “in fact” again?) Just keep on reading, keep on writing and you’ll find plenty more great tips to use.
For now, just enjoy your writing… and remember that it’s not always black and white.
Write for your audience
Reign in the complexities
Intrigue your readers
Take a breather
Nail your topic
Get someoneone to proofread
If you would like a professional writer to review, prepare, or mince up some words for you, just pop me a line.