Writing is something that you gradually get better at. It is not necessarily something that you are born with. As time passes, you develop a specific style and many will end up recognizing you and following you based on that style.
The problem is that we always reach a point at which we simply cannot improve. This usually happens as we are stuck in writing the same things over and over again. For instance, this happened to me once when I kept getting the same order from a Blog For Web guest posting client.
After writing 100 articles about virtually the same thing for 2 months, my creativity took a huge blow. Everything I wrote afterwards for a long period of time sounded the same and was totally unappealing.
Do you feel the same thing? Newsflash! If you feel that your writing is not appealing, the readers will see every sentence as unappealing.
It is time for a makeover and it is time to do something practical to improve your writing skills and style. How do we do that? Well, every single person is different. Some methods might be better than others. I can only share what worked with me. Hopefully, something will help you.
1. Write! Write! Write!
No matter what anyone tells you, the most important thing that you have to do is keep writing. I see many talented people hitting what they call a writer’s block. They simply stop writing.
We have to understand that writing is something that we need to practice. Just as if we are going to the gym in order to lose weight or put on some muscle mass, we need to keep writing. A writer’s block is just an excuse that you have to stop writing.
If you cannot write about the topics that you usually cover because you do not have inspiration (sounds familiar?), open a new blog! Write about what your dog does during the day. Write about what you see outside. Do what you can to write as much as you can every single day.
You will notice that while you write, ideas start to pop-up in your head and you will find it easier to continue writing. You will also improve without realizing it when you proofread what you wrote. You do proofread, right?
2. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone!
We all love writing about something. I particularly love writing about travel, music, recipes and SEO. It is a weird combination but it keeps the brain ticking. If you enjoy writing about marketing, try to write something about health. A totally different topic that forces you to research and improve as you get to see what others write.
There are too many people that are stuck on just one niche, one topic. Do not be one of them as you will eventually lack the drive found in new challenges. As soon as you are bored with what you do, laziness starts creeping in and in a few weeks you find yourself doing anything else than writing.
3. Take Advice!
Let’s face it! We cannot be objective with our writing. It just cannot happen. That is why there are people that are professional proofreaders and magazines have content editors. We cannot grow if nobody tells us what we do wrong.
A very simple example lies in writing for the internet. In school you are taught many things that are really bad in the online world. You use long paragraphs and long sentences. That does not work well online and if nobody tells you this, you will continue writing huge paragraphs with tremendous writing but that are not even read.
Join creative writing workshops. Ask friends to be honest and give you an opinion about something that you write. Ask another writer to tell you what he/she thinks. The more feedback we receive, the better we understand what others see. You do not write for you, no matter how hard you want to believe this. You write for the people that will read what you write.
4. Comment On Blogs!
When I usually say this, the first response is: “Why in the world should I do that? This is not quality writing!”
It is not quality writing because we do not usually see comments as quality writing. Challenge yourself to write a very interesting comment on the blogs that you constantly follow. Get involved in conversations and see what people respond to.
Contrary to what you might think right now, a lot of people check the comments and want to talk with the author. They also want to talk with other individuals that share their views. When you manage to write some very good in-depth comments, you will stand out. The blogger will notice you and you might even make a new connection in the industry. All while you improve your writing.
5. Read! Read! Read!
The first thing I mentioned is that you need to keep writing. The last thing I will mention is that you need to continue reading. One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your writing skills is to read everything that you can find.
Once again, jump out of your comfort zone. If you read sci-fi books, read something by Sandra Brown or Agatha Christie. Read poems by Poe and then see what the critics say about the work. Just jump from one link to the next.
The more we read, the more we observe. We make connections with what we enjoy and our style becomes more defined as we write. I saw a lot of people that were decent writers and that simply stopped evolving because their knowledge was limited.
Contrary to what you might believe at the moment, the more we know about various topics, the easier it is to write about what we love. You can come up with unique examples and make your article even more attractive.
Writing is not simple. You will see that it is actually really tough. Improving writing skills takes time so do not worry if you seem to stop growing. You will eventually get there.