Everyone is a writer now. Yes, I said everyone is a writer now. We all write whether you are trying to quench an addiction as I am or composing an email to a child’s teacher. Writing is a part of everyday life now. So why not do it correctly?
If you have spent any time on social media, or playing a video game with other human players, you understand the grammar police are everywhere. And let’s be honest, is it really that hard to remember when to use their or there?
The only defense against the infamous grammar police is- well- better grammar with a dash of proper punctuation and passable sentence structure. Here are ways to improve your day to day writing and become a better writer.
Write More Often
A shocking revelation, but it works. Brian Clark sums it up best here.
Now Write Less
Let me explain before you decide I have lost my mind. I wrote a post recently, Write Less For Better Writing, that explains what I mean. Like anything you do often, you can burn yourself out.
Read More Often
Reading is a great training tool for writers and will help even the most seasoned writer improve their craft. Reading offers a broader vocabulary and examples of proper grammar and sentence structure. A better explanation can be found here and here. Read a few things you would not normally read.
Expand Your Vocabulary
Becoming a better writer means you are always learning. Your vocabulary is a primary tool in the learning process. Try not to use too many 8 syllable words and write for your readers, but knowing a lot of words and how to use them correctly is a skill every writer should master.
Talk To Yourself
Yes, it is ok to talk to yourself or answer yourself. Sometimes we write things and never hear them spoken aloud. You would be surprised how many times I have changed a sentence because I recited it to myself and found it lacking. Give talking to yourself a try and ignore the strange looks.
Write About Things You Know
Whether it is an email or a newspaper column, only write about it if you know what you are talking about. You do not have to only write about things you know now. Enough research can make anyone an expert on most topics.
Above all, know what you are writing about before you start typing. Whether you are writing a feature on a politician, weight loss or complaining to the school board via email.
Pay Attention To Your Favorite Writers
If you are reading someone else’s work, chances are they got your attention via previous writing, an email subject line, a headline or were referred by a friend. Either way, they have your attention so figure out how they got your attention and learn from them.
Now you are on your way to becoming a better writer. If you find a method that works best for you, let me know in the comments. Feel free to post links to your own posts or favorite posts on becoming a better writer.