Do you feel stuck in your writing ability? Do you wonder how you can sharpen your skills and craft your writing? Many writers reach a point when they’re unsure how to grow in their writing. The good news is that EVERYONE can become a better writer. Here are 5 keys to achieving your writing goals.
Write 30 Minutes Every Day
One of the keys to perfecting your craft is practice. If you want to become a better writer, you have to spend time writing. You can write a blog post, a journal entry, a summary of a book you just finished—the possibilities are endless, so you can have fun with the different ways you incorporate writing into your routine.
This practice should be consistent so that you’re setting up a daily rhythm of playing with your wording and looking for better ways to get your meaning across. Look at your calendar and determine when you can set up small chunks of time to sit down and write. You can also consider an accountability partner to encourage you to stay on track.
Read Quality Books
In addition to writing, you must plan to ingest quality content. Look for bloggers in your field whose writing you enjoy and is well-received. Work in some time to read the classics and study eloquent writing, and also work in contemporary books and articles written by experienced writers. Pay attention to the words they choose, the length of their sentences and variety in their sentence structure, and how they make their words flow. Think about how you can incorporate these techniques into your own writing.
Use Fewer Words
One of the common struggles for novice writers is using too many words. Often, a paragraph can be consolidated to a few sentences, a sentence to a phrase, or a phrase to a single word. One of the drawbacks of this is that your meaning can get lost in the amount of words you’re using. Especially in our current culture where readers are inundated with content, getting your point across succinctly is vital.
When writing your rough draft, do not worry about wordiness. However, once your rough draft is complete and you are happy with the overall content, go back through line by line and evaluate where you can whittle down your word count.
Study outside Your Own Field
Another common struggle of novice writers is failing to read outside of their comfort zone. Experienced writers read a variety of genres, fields of study, and viewpoints. Incorporating this variety has many advantages, but one of the key benefits is that it helps you strengthen your content. If you typically read only from authors you agree with, your own writing may tend to repeat the same arguments they do. However, if you challenge yourself to read opposing views and truly consider their arguments, you’ll be able to craft content that sets yourself apart from other writers as you think through creative explanations that counteract those you disagree with.
Write to a Specific Audience
A final pitfall of writers is failing to narrow their audience. In a market overwhelmed with content and choices, authors must set themselves apart from other writers. To do this, you have to zero in on the group of people you truly want to speak to—one writer cannot reach every single person. What age range do you want to target? What is their income? What belief systems do they ascribe to? Does your content speak to men, women, or both? Thinking through these answers will help you define the content you should create and then brainstorm how to reach your chosen audience.
Want to take your writing to the next level? Talk to us about connecting with one of our writing coaches or editors!