Some individuals are stronger than most when it comes to writing. There are a few things you exercises to improve writing skills. The truth is, there’s no real science to it. Many consider writing to be an art. Even, this doesn’t imply that if you work, you can’t become a better writer. In everything, practice is fine, as the expression goes.
Below are 10 writing exercises to improve writing skills.
1. Understanding of the basics.
You would need at least an intermediate understanding of the basic principles of writing before you can start writing incredible stuff.
It does not mean you need to study at an oxbridge institution in a prestigious creative writing program, but you need to know the basics of grammar and spelling. Every writer should have a copy of Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” on their bookshelf, since this small but invaluable book is one of the most comprehensive resources on the proper use of grammar and other useful subjects.
Bookmark Grammar Girl, and, of course, Merriam Webster, for fast and simple online tools.
2. Practice Regularly.
When you want to do something better, you have to work-and writing is no exception!
Sadly, there are few shortcuts that will turn you into an outstanding writer overnight, and over a period of several years even the most talented authors have had to practice their craft. Writing while considering SEO, and how to drive traffic to your post, is admittedly even harder.
If you want to enhance your writing skills, it will not only diminish your fear of the blank screen (or blinking cursor) on a regular basis, it will also help you develop a distinctive style. So, even though no one is reading this, keep writing.
When you want to do something better, you have to work-and writing is no exception!
Sadly, there are few shortcuts that will turn you into an outstanding writer overnight, and over a period of several years, even the most talented authors have had to practice their craft. Writing while considering SEO, and how to drive traffic to your post, is admittedly even harder.
PRACTICE MAKES A MAN PERFECT.
3. Be A Keen Reader.
The best authors are also keen readers and reading is a quick way to start improving your writing skills on a regular basis. I’m not just thinking about blog posts either-diversify your reading content.
Broaden your knowledge to more complex content than you usually read, and pay attention to the structure of the sentences, word selection and how the material flows. The more you learn, the more likely it is that you will grow an eye for what makes a piece so successful, and which errors to avoid.
4. Join a Workshop or Take a Class.
Most people are baulking at the thought of standing in front of a room full of strangers and baring their soul into the future, but attending a writing workshop can be enormously helpful – and a lot of fun (if you can find a good one).
You don’t need to have an unfinished novel in your desk drawer tucked away to enter a laboratory. Content marketing meetings and professional development programs are getting wildly famous these days. Join one of LinkedIn’s many content marketing groups to meet like-minded authors, or check for workshops on sites like Meetup near you. Choose a subject, write something, listen to the group’s input and then revise it. Repeat, Rinse.
5. Make Outlines Your Friend.
A blank page’s blinking cursor is a major adversary, even to the most accomplished authors. Sketch out an outline of what you want to write before putting pen to proverbial paper. That’s going to be your battle plan and it’ll help you win the fight. Very few – and I mean very few – authors sit down to write something without having to consider a solid strategy.
It needn’t be a detailed outline. It would be enough to provide a clear structure of which sections will appear in a specific order, along with a few sentences on what each section comprises. If the topic you are covering is a little more complicated, the outline may also have to be – but having an outline before you write is like getting a diagram in the car’s glove box before a road trip. Go back to your outline and get back to the kicking ass and taking names if you start feeling confused.
Let’s take a look at a real example – one of my own outlines:
Brief summary of the post
Section 1 – What is Voice?
Paragraph(s) explaining the key principles behind brand voice (style, tone, and messaging)
Examples of each
Section 2 – Developing Voice with Content
Explanations of how to develop brand voice using content (written, visual, video)
Considerations for content producers/marketers to bear in mind when producing content (strategy, goals, overall brand messaging)
Section 3 – Examples of Content That Builds Voice
Several examples (three or four) of content that aligns well with marketing positioning and branding of recognizable brands
This outline eventually became my recent post about brand voice. I deviated from my initial outline slightly, but the overarching structure was always there to keep me on target.
6. Critic Your Work Your Self.
So, you write daily (or at least regularly), and feel more positive about your job. Superb! You’ll now become your own critic.
For inexperienced authors, editing is a difficult skill to master, as it puts tremendous importance on the time and effort that they put into writing first. Most writing, however, is simply rewriting, and this is where an editor’s cold, hard eye can serve you well.
Develop the discipline needed to remove odd words (more about this soon). Resist the temptation of lyrical waxing, and get to the stage. Not sure whether a paragraph works? Probably not. Be fair on yourself, and know when to delete something or rework it. As a result, the job will be much firmer.
7. Remove Unnecessary Words.
Another common mistake among inexperienced writers (and some more experienced writers who should know better) is to write unnecessarily complicated sentences in a more authoritative attempt to “sound.”
For certain cases, can have a greater effect on shorter sentences. You may have heard of a six-word story that Ernest Hemingway supposedly wrote, which reads, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Whether Hemingway wrote this or not is meaningless – the power of these six words demonstrates that brevity can be a powerful weapon when used correctly, and not every sentence needs to be overworked to get the point across.
8. Say What You Think.
Most web content is bland and disgracefully dull. This is because far too many bloggers concentrate on regurgitating the same news as everyone else without adding their own opinions. You don’t want to fall under libel rules, of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) say what you think.
When you have found your own “voice,” don’t be shy about expressing your opinions. This makes reading more interesting. Don’t be antagonistic for your own sake, and don’t set out to piss anyone off intentionally, but make sure that there’s enough of you in your writing to make it worth reading to your audience.
9. Done Is Better than Perfect.
You should certainly take the time to compose as well as you can, carefully proofread and edit your work, and make sure your piece flows logically from one point to another.
That doesn’t mean you will take weeks to write something though.
No piece of writing is ever going to be flawless – you have to know when to let go. This is especially important in content marketing because you rarely (if ever) will have the luxury of producing agonizingly beautiful blog posts full of poignant phrases and evocative imagery. The “writing” aspect of writing becomes simpler and quicker as you become more comfortable, but never lose sight of the fact that deadlines, or editorial calendars, are just as much your masters as any boss or manager.
10. Do Your Research.
Apart from plagiarizing the work of another, nothing can destroy your reputation more easily than failing to do your homework.
Many authors are trying to take shortcuts with the truth in their eagerness to be finished with a blog post (or even big newspaper article) This can vary from fudging a figure unintentionally out of the urgency to being sloppy when it comes to sourcing or attribution. Not only does this land you and your publisher/content marketing manager / another boss-type individual in major trouble, but it also makes you look like an amateur.
Everybody is making mistakes so you don’t have to spend weeks cross-referencing every last statistic (see next tip), however common sense will prevail here – don’t depend exclusively on places like Wikipedia, just use actual, primary sources wherever possible.
This are the following 10 writing exercises to improve writing skills.
If you want to become a writer you can read our article on “How To Be A Writer Just 10 Easy Steps For Beginners.”
For more such article do subscribe our website and site category “Writing and Speaking“.