Writing is a powerful means of communication that has become an essential part of our personal, professional, and business lives. Even though people write for different reasons and with varying degrees of experience, there is a common element: Writing is a skill you can learn, develop, and improve with time and practice.
Whether you’re a business owner doing all the writing for your business, a professional writer who writes for a living, or just someone doing a lot of writing in your current job, it’s in your best interest to constantly be improving your writing skills and making your writing better.
Once you start, you’ll enjoy benefits that can help you achieve your personal, career, and business goals faster than normal.
For example, you can use your writing to:
If you’re eager to improve your writing but don’t know how to go about it, you’re in the right place. Here are seven smart ways to make your writing better.
Without the right knowledge and understanding, it can appear almost impossible to make your writing better.
But there’s good news!
These days, you can gain more knowledge without disrupting your home, career, or business to go back to school full time. All you have to do is set aside small amounts of time in your daily or weekly schedule to learn more about writing through one or more of these methods:
With so many options available to choose from, consider your individual needs and preferences and choose those formats that work best for you.
According to some writers, including Jerry Jenkins, fiction and nonfiction author of nearly 200 books, including the popular Left Behind series and 21 New York Times bestsellers, here are some of the best books on writing:
With regular use of the above methods, your knowledge and understanding of writing will gradually improve, and your writing will also become better once you start putting everything you learn into practice.
Are you familiar with the phrase “practice makes perfect?” Well, it also applies to writing, and it’s one of the best ways to make your writing better.
When you choose to write on a daily basis, you’ll exercise your writing muscles, which goes a long way to making your writing better. Even though it might be challenging at first, the truth is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes, and before you know it, your day feels incomplete without writing.
In addition to making your writing better, writing on a daily basis can also help you:
Let’s look at a few tips you can use to develop a daily writing habit:
A writing goal can inspire and remind you to write daily. Your goal can be the number of words you want to write every day, like 1,000 or 500 words, or the amount of time you will spend writing, like 30 minutes, 45 minutes, one hour, and so on. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, start with a small goal that appears easy and achievable, such as writing 100 or 50 words per day or writing for 10 to 15 minutes daily.
Are you at your best early in the morning or late at night? Or do you always get more done around midday or late afternoon? The simple truth is that different people are at their best at different times of the day. To maintain a daily writing habit, identify when you’re most productive in a day and write at that time.
If you have a dedicated writing space, try and make it ready in advance so all you need to do is show up and start writing without wasting time doing anything else.
Your writing space can be your home office or a small cubicle or closet where you write, or even a desk and chair in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen. When your writing space is ready in advance, just showing up there can act as a trigger that puts you in a writing mood and gets your writing juices flowing.
Remember to use your writing time to write without losing focus. You should avoid editing or doing research when you’re supposed to be writing. Also, remove all forms of distraction, like your phone or social media, so you can concentrate on writing until you meet your daily writing goal.
To make your writing better, writing once in a while or only when you feel like it won’t help. Instead, choose to develop a daily writing habit and stick to it.
You can also make your writing better when you join a writing community.
Also known as a writers group or club or circle, a writing community refers to a group of people who meet on a regular basis to discuss topics of interest to writers. Different types of writing communities exist based on their aims and objectives, how members meet, and whether membership is free or not.
Some writers groups have only one goal, maybe to give feedback on the writing of members or to attend to writers in a specific niche or genre. But some others can also have multiple goals, such as providing writing prompts for members to write and submit by a deadline, inviting experts to speak and answer questions on relevant topics, and so on.
Apart from making your writing better, here are some additional benefits of joining a writing community:
Before you join any community, take your time and do your research so you can join a group with aims and objectives that can make your writing better.
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, articles, blog posts, or white papers, there is nothing worse than a piece of writing that’s filled with baseless assumptions and wrong information. All of these lower the quality and raise doubts about the credibility of the writer (and worse, your client!).
You can therefore make your writing better when you improve your research skills.
With quality research findings, it becomes easier to make sure that everything you write has useful and relevant information, data, and statistics from credible and authoritative sources.
To improve your research skills, you should know how to do quality research on the internet, the difference between a credible source and the opposite, how to double-check your research findings at all times, and why you should.
With good research skills, your writing will become better, since it will have only solid facts and information.
Another smart way to make your writing better is to become great at self-editing.
Self-editing is a key part of the writing process and is pretty self-explanatory (it’s when you edit your own writing). It’s used to transform messy first drafts into something other people can read and understand easily. Self-editing can be done manually or with an editing tool—or a combination of both.
Most writers struggle to edit their own writing because they become too familiar with it to notice all the mistakes and errors present. A majority of writers also lack the editing knowledge, skills, and years of experience that professional editors have.
Even if you are able to find and hire a professional, it’s best to have a grasp on the basics to make everything easier for both you and your editor. Here are some tips on editing your writing effectively:
Are you aware that different types of editing are used to improve different areas of writing? To improve your self-editing skills, learn more about editing, the different types available, and the areas of writing each one is relevant for. With all these at your fingertips, your self-editing skills will improve.
To edit your writing effectively, don’t start editing as soon as you finish writing. Instead, leave it for some time while you do other things. By the time you go back to it, you’ll do so with fresh eyes that will increase your objectivity and make it easier for you to spot all the mistakes and errors present in it.
Compared to editing on a computer screen, many people find it easier to spot and pick out more mistakes and errors in their writing when they print it out and edit on paper. You can also make use of this strategy to edit your writing more effectively.
You can improve your editing skills when you help others to edit their work. This allows you to get regular editing practice and improve your editing skills so you can edit your own writing in a more effective manner.
Even though self-editing cannot replace professional editing, it’s a very important skill that every writer needs in order to make their writing better before sharing it with others.
You can make your writing better when you write specifically for a target audience.
Before you ask, writing for a target audience simply means tailoring your writing to an identified group of people, not only to attract their attention but also to engage and convert them successfully.
To make this happen, you must know and understand everything about them, such as their age, gender, employment status, income level, location, profession, and so on. On top of that, you also need to know their interests, needs and wants, the questions they have, and their problems and challenges.
With all these at your fingertips, you can now use the right language, tone, and voice to provide value in your writing by giving them:
Writing for a target audience is a marketable skill that’s in high demand in the business world, and it’s a smart and effective way to make your writing that much better.
Your writing will definitely become better when you team up with an editor or editing agency.
A professional editor not only goes through a piece of writing to pick out mistakes and errors in grammar, structure, readability, tone, word usage, and so on, but they also provide suggestions on how to correct them while making sure that the writer’s voice is not altered.
To avoid editing mistakes, you need a good knowledge and understanding of the types of edits available so you can identify the type you need and hire an editor with the right skills for your job.
Professional editing is made up of different types of edits that are completed one after the other, in a specific manner, such as developmental editing, content editing, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading. You can find editors that specialize in one or two types of edits, but it’s rare to find an editor who can handle all of them.
An editing agency also provides professional editing services, but instead of only one type of editing, they have an entire team of editors who can handle the various types of editing available, and they also offer guidance on how you can improve your writing skill set.
So, if you need more than two types of edits and don’t want the hassle of dealing with different editors (or maybe you’re not even sure of the type of editing you need), an editing agency can be a better choice.
Bottom line, partner with an editor or an editing agency to edit your writing, and you can rest assured that your writing will become better.
Believe it or not, you can stand out in your career, business, and profession, and even enjoy other benefits, when you consciously take steps to improve your writing skills and make your writing better.
To achieve this, it’s necessary to improve your knowledge about writing, practice your writing every day, and become very good at self-editing. In addition, join a writing community, improve your research skills, write for your target audience, and team up with an editor or editing agency to bring out the best in your writing.
Following these tips will make your writing better, leading you to a more successful career in writing or to achieve any other writing goal you have.
Sola Kehinde is a freelance content writer for hire with 10+ years of corporate business management experience. She helps businesses of all sizes create engaging blog posts, case studies, guides, tutorials and eBooks that attract and convert. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her drinking green tea, watching movies or curled up with a good book. Visit her writing portfolio here.