One of the most important things in life is to be open to making improvements. Especially if it involves what is your career of choice. Writing just happens to be a skill that could always be improved upon. Because at its most basic level, writing is all about communication. And to that point there are infinite ways to use markings to express language in order to attempt to communicate a message or messages. For the people who are tasked with using the English language, they have the unenviable problem of putting together sentences which makes it clear, to the reader, the differences between similar words with very different meanings, or connotations, such as affect vs effect. To do such a thing is a skill in itself, a skill that needs to be always worked upon as the spoken word medium of language is ever evolving and thus the writing forms employed needs to reflect that. The more prolific the writer, the more likely that they were to be proficient in several writing styles. Why was that? Because while writing styles might be as unique as a person’s fingerprints, it would make sense to master as many of them as you can as each differing style often represents a different audience. The general rule about writing is to ensure that it is easy to understand. If it is easy to understand then it would resonate with a wide audience. And every writer, puts proverbial pen to paper in order to be understood by as wide of an audience as possible. However, while most people think they can write, only a few are truly up to the task. The ones who are, seem to be always tweaking, adjusting, working on their craft. Focused on improving. Because at the end of the day there will always be an audience that needs to be reached. Since there are so many different ways for a writer to get their point across, there are equally as many tips and tricks for a writer to improve their writing style, and maybe even suggest how to incorporate new styles into their normal creative output. What follows is a special selection of tips that should help a writer to not only get better but to also inspire.
Tips to Improve Your Writing Style
- While it is good to be clever, it is even better to be clear – Avoid trying to execute cheap gimmicks for laughs — they hardly come off, and more often than not it comes off as corny. Meanwhile, it’s the writers who aim to be clear who end up getting the reader’s attention.
- Find your rate of revelation and stick to it – Give a few sentences of explanation or story, and then immediately move on to the next point, and then to the next point. This is the rate at which you reveal new information to the reader and new information is what keeps people interested.
- When you find something that works, do it again and again – Clearly your readers enjoyed something about your previous work. So why not give them more of what they want. Exploit it to the point where you feel like you’ve exhausted every possible option, every alternative, every variation, every manifestation – you get the point.
- Be as specific as you possibly can – Make sure the content of your writing is speaking specifically to your target reader. Ineffective writing is nothing more than writing that does not resonate. And, more often than not, the reason it doesn’t resonate is almost always a reflection of specificity. Start within a niche, and then expand from there.
- Write more because the more you write, the more you write – The more ideas you share, the more new ideas you’ll have. Every time you write, you put out more information. More information you can draw upon to use again and again and again. Think of it like your own personal hamster wheel of content.
- Put your reader/audience first – Learn how to use personal stories, perspectives, and insights in service of the wants and needs of your audience. Balance these two opposing forces: what you want to write about, and what your audience wants to read about.
- Learn the art of having a conversation with your audience – The vast majority of everything you write should be directed to answering your target reader’s questions, or giving them valuable insight that will move them one (or many) steps forward in the direction of their own goals. Again balance is needed between answering your audience questions and telling them an entertaining story.
- Forget about word count – Word count is a poor measure of value. It is actually irrelevant if what you are saying isn’t valuable. Any writer who measures his or her value by how many more words are placed on the page isn’t actually in the business of getting to the point. Which is the point!
- Let your audience decide what is good and what is not – The harshest reality you could ever face as a writer are the questions: “Do people care about what I’m writing? Am I any good?” But facing these questions is also how you will grow. The sooner you confront what’s not working, the faster you’ll learn what does.
- Write with your audience in mind – The more skimmable your writing, the more likely readers are to actually give you their attention and read. I know that sounds strange but it is the way of the world right now. Use subheads, section dividers, bullets, and lists. Make it easy for your audience to find what they’re looking for, or something that catches their eye. Failure to do that would be like a lost opportunity.