Becoming a better writer, whether at a personal level or for work, takes consistent effort in many areas; it is not enough simply to practice, as writing is a multifaceted skill. The process of writing well can only come about by developing habits and certain skills that you consciously work on. It’s important to look for various creative ways to improve your writing skills, such as journaling, which a Medium article notes is an effective way to help generate ideas and reflect on what you have learned and written.
Developing the below five habits and skills will help you become a more proficient and effective writer:
Jot Down Ideas
Thoughts can be fleeting, and it’s frustrating for writers to think of a great idea only to forget it. By making it a habit to jot down any ideas you have the second they come to mind, you will not only keep track of them but also free your mind of room to focus without distractions. After jotting down the initial idea, it’s important to go back and flesh it out.
This will help you relate it to other ideas you may have taken note of to create a more cohesive whole in your writing. You can further refine concepts and theories that will result in a more effective piece once you’re finished writing. Ultimately, you should be able to produce more detailed and thoughtful writing.
Authenticity is of paramount importance today for writers and should shape every aspect of how they communicate, especially if they are writing commercially. According to research, 44% of consumers polled preferred brands with values aligned to theirs, and the relationship between writers and their audiences is no different. As Dustin York points out in his Entrepreneur column, authenticity is key to establishing a connection with readers.
As the active director of Maryville University’s communications program, York has a lot of experience in teaching authenticity when it comes to communication. The lessons he teaches will help writers to create more effective connections with their audiences. It entails establishing a relationship with the audience using various writing techniques to express a clear and genuine message. Authenticity will ultimately allow you to establish your voice as a writer, making your work more impactful and recognizable.
Given the benefits that journaling can contribute to one’s writing skills, doing it often is one habit that will make you better at your craft. It’s essential to understand that journaling is not limited to its most traditional form of a notebook and pen — or in this case, with a blank page and a keyboard. Journaling is about documenting events, so you can capture snapshots and videos of daily life. Our #PhotoADay challenge encourages writers to journal this way to enhance their meaning-making and cognitive awareness.
This then translates into writing that has more effective imagery, which in turn will create a stronger connection with the reader. Documenting events this way also develops a writer’s ability to recall, which is crucial to the writing process.
Reading is one of the most effective ways to become a better writer simply because it exposes you to the techniques and styles of various writers and their works. This provides writers with a better understanding of the different literary elements.
Reading daily will give you a better idea of what constitutes great writing, allowing you to practice the different styles you encounter to improve your own writing. It is recommended that you read outside of your comfort zone in order to improve. You never know which style or technique will click for you unless you explore different texts.
Becoming a better writer is a continuous process. Developing these particular skills will not only improve your writing in a technical sense but will also help shape your identity as a writer.
Exclusively contributed to dayoneapp.com by: JBunn