Almost everyone can improve their writing and become a better writer. Here are some useful tips to become a better writer.
1. Take time to plan
Planning what you are going to write will show through in the finished work. It will be more structured, and there won’t be gaping holes in it where you’ve forgotten to include important points.
2. Make sure you read
If you don’t expose yourself to other writers, you won’t pick up the tricks that they use to hold your attention.
When you do read, ask yourself what it is the item that either rivet you to the page or almost sends you to sleep with boredom.
Then figure out how you can incorporate more of the good style into your work and less of the academic drone.
3. Grammar and punctuation count, usually
A lot depends on who your target audience is but, as a general rule, you should pay at least some attention to grammar rules, and you should ensure that any punctuation is used correctly.
Apart from anything else, wrongly punctuated work is an eyesore. A missing or wrongly placed apostrophe just looks wrong on the page. Using commas instead of full stops is sloppy.
So take care to go back to your work and double check your punctuation. Most word processors have a grammar checker which will give you a good “first pass” on whether your grammar is up to scratch or not.
4. Read it out loud
For anything critical, this is essential.
Reading your work out loud will immediately tell you where things aren’t quite right. If you stumble, there’s an issue with the structure.
If you miss words, check whether that’s you being lazy when you read or whether the missing words deserve to be the final item.
5. Keep interruptions to a minimum
You may not be able to banish outside influences completely but the more you can minimize disruptions, the better your work will be.
If you’re always allowing your writing to be interrupted by phone calls, other people or even just checking emails then you’ll lose your place, and the continuity in your work will go to pieces.
6. Do your research
There’s nothing worse than waffling on your subject rather than taking a few minutes to check that any facts and figures you’re going to quote are correct before self-publishing. Your readers will appreciate the time you take to research your writing project, whether it’s a short report, a long book or anything in between.