Great writers sometimes take for granted how difficult writing can actually be. Practice and persistence often make the process easier with time, but for many beginners and non-writers the process of writing can be an overwhelming thing. The simple tips we share about editing your work, using proper paragraphs, and good grammar can be lost on those that don’t a) enjoy writing, and b) write regularly.
There are many different types of readers on this site writers and readers on every level. Today’s Tips and Tricks Tuesday is going to reach out to those of you who may be beginners, or those who don’t choose to write for a living but have to for work, or various other reasons.
Here are some simple tips and tricks to help even non-writer‘s write better:
- Say it loud – If it is not easily spoken aloud it will not be easily read so ensure that you read everything you write out loud before you publish it anywhere.
- Learn proper punctuation – Take the time to learn where to use a comma, period and exclamation mark and utilize this knowledge when you write. Commas and periods are an important part of both reading and writing and can easily make or break the flow of your work. Search Google for the basic rules and study them before you start, you need not aim for perfection, but know the basics in the very least.
- Keep it clear – Using short, to the point sentences is the best way to ensure your writing is easily read. If you can say it with fewer words than do so. The same rule applies to paragraphs.
- Utilize the spell-check tool – You don’t have to be a world-class spelling bee champion to be a good writer, that is where technology becomes an amazing tool. Locate the spell-check tool in your typing program and run it, twice! There is nothing more annoying than simple spelling errors that could have been avoided by a simple click of the mouse.
- Keep you vocabulary in check – Using big words that you don’t actually know the true meaning of will not make you appear more intelligent. In fact, in most cases these large, fancy words will make you look dumber than you really are if they are used incorrectly. Stick to words that you are sure you know well, and be fully aware of their context and appropriate usage.
- Don’t be afraid of grammar – Sure, grammar is important in writing, and you should learn as much grammar as you possibly can, but grammar is not what makes a good writer and should never be the cause of stress. If you are unsure of the proper grammar of a sentence simply aim to make it as clear as you possibly can. Clear writing, and easy reading is far more important that perfect grammar, do what you can and aim to be understood in the end.
- Get to the point – A major part of good writing is the ability to make your point clear from the get-go. If you are going to force readers to sift through several paragraphs of useless information before they actually discover what it is you are writing about, you are going to lose a lot of readers right away. Clearly stating your point at the beginning of any piece allows readers to decide quickly if what you have written is of any use to them at all, and actually encourages them to read on rather than simply skim through your piece.
- Aim to write well every time – Practice always makes writing easier, and with time good writing will come if you aim for it. No matter what you are writing, aim to write it well. Emails to friends, family and co-workers should be written with as much care as a published piece. Take time, and put in effort for every single thing you write and you will see your writing quickly improve.
- Study style – It can not be said enough that reading is a great way to improve your writing. By reading work by good writers you will see what it takes to write well, and you will actually absorb important style tips as you read. Browse blogs, read books, and study papers that are well-written than aim to imitate what you have read.
- Delete doubt – If you have doubt in your writing, think you are using the wrong words, or are unsure of how well it flows, make it simpler. If something doesn’t feel or sound right, it probably isn’t. Read and re-read your work both out-loud and in your head, several times if you have to. Have others read it if you must. Tweak and change it until it feels perfect for you, and is easily read by others.
Practice and be persistent in your writing. Do your best and never give up. Even if you are not striving to be a professional writer there are simple ways to improve your skills. Writing is a part of everyday life, and in business it can make or break your success. Even the non-writer can be an effective and successful writer if they take the time to learn and have the drive to achieve. The most important part of being a good writer is to be clear in your work and aim to be easily read, anything above and beyond that is simply the icing on the cake that makes a good writer great!
Do you have any tips for non-writers?
What is the most important thing you would share with someone who does not choose to write?
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Share you own thoughts, tips, and tricks in the comment section below.
Until Next Time…
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