Wednesday, December 2, 2015

8 Steps to Improve Your Writing Skills

1. Read. A Lot.

When you read books, you gain a better understanding of writing styles. You see how published writers string together sentences, build suspense, and create understandable step-by-step instructions.

2. Practice Makes Damn Near Perfect

Anyone who wants to become a good writer needs to practice writing every day. Devote an hour to writing each day. Set up a blog and write for it. Work on your manuscript. Write articles to publish on content websites, such as Write about the day's events in a journal.

3. Write Poetry

Learn how to write haikus, limericks, sonnets, and other forms of poetry. Devote a week to study and practice each poetry style. For inspiration, I recommend The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach by Robin Behn.

4. Set Up a Work Area

Set up an area where you can sit comfortably and write. If possible, make sure the area gets plenty of natural sunlight during the day and can be well lit when the sun goes down.

5. Join a Writer's Group

Check your local libraries to see if there is a writer's group you can join. At the very least, search online and find a group to join.

6. Study Grammar

Purchase a book on grammar and punctuation. Take your time and read through it. Set it aside and reread it a year later. I can personally recommend The Book on Writing by Paula LaRocque.

7. Create a Schedule

By creating a writing schedule, you train yourself to sit and write at a certain time, for a length of time, each and every day.

8. Write Down Ideas

Keep a notebook or a file on your computer for book and story ideas. I keep a file on my computer with all my ideas and possible book / article titles. I also keep my ideas in a written notebook that I carry with me wherever I go. You never know when or where an idea will hit you, and it is always best to write ideas down immediately. Otherwise, you may forget about them before you are able to sit down at your computer.

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