You can improve your writing skills even if you have little or no experience. Writing, just like any activity, can be improved by lots of practice.
Learning to write better is not easy, but it is simple. 99% of it is self-motivation. Not procrastinating. Setting up a routine that you follow every single day. So what are you waiting for? Do the following. Yes, right now.
Read anything and everything. Trashy romance novels. The instruction manual that came with your slow cooker. Re-read the Harry Potter series for the tenth time. (Is that just me?)
Most folks read only for entertainment purposes or to learn. But while you’re improving your writing, focus more on reading like a writer. Notice what works and what doesn’t work. You’ll begin to notice the differences in writing styles of different authors. Look out for grammar, spelling, punctuation. There is fantastic writing out there and some horrid writing. The more you read, the greater your awareness will become on what good and great writing looks like.
Read as often as possible. In bed at night, or on your morning commute, or while sitting in a relaxing bubble bath. (Don’t forget the scented candles and calming music.) Strive for a few hours of reading each day.
Write a lot. About anything and everything. Writing can only be improved by a tremendous amount of practice.
Practice. Every. Single. Day. The experts recommend an activity called “free-writing.” This involves setting aside a specific time every day, setting a timer, and writing without stopping as long as your timer is going. Your writing doesn’t have to be good or make sense, because no one is going to read it (unless you want them to). This is not for publication. Write whatever comes into mind, or repeat nonsense if nothing does come to mind. Just the simple act of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) will improve your writing over time.
Keep a Writer’s Notebook
Keeping a writer’s notebook will ensure that you don’t forget those ideas that pop into your head while you’re struggling to stay awake during that meeting or waiting for your kid at his parkour class. I keep mine next to my bed because I invariably wake in the middle of the night with the brain on overdrive.
Whether you’re writing fiction, nonfiction, fanfiction, or a blog post about air fryer recipes, a writer’s notebook can help keep your ideas organized in one spot where you won’t forget them. Of course, this can be accomplished with a computer as well, but I find it’s easier to carry around a notebook. Its contents can be transferred to a file on your computer later of course.
A writer’s notebook is also a great place to build your Word Hoard. I first discovered this term in Barbara Baig’s book, “Spellbinding Sentences.” She suggests building a collection of words that you come across in your reading or conversations that you like or find interesting or don’t know know the meaning of. This is a great way to build up your vocabulary.
You can improve your writing even if you are a beginner. It’s not easy, but it is simple. What other methods do you use for writing improvement?