‘Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.’
– Louis L’Amour
Writing is an exercise which is considered as a burdensome task by many. People become anxious when they are asked to write something, whether it is for school, office or pleasure. The moment they take up a piece of paper, words don’t come to their minds. Writing is tricky work. It is not only about assembling your ideas into words but also about presenting those ideas in a way that will leave a positive impression on the reader.
Writing is an inescapable activity; you need to write different things at different stages of your life: assignments, theses, notes, invitations, business letters, business emails, projects, presentations, even chatting. Everything requires you to write effectively with the intent to communicate clearly and impress.
This blog will help you in improving your writing skills. Whether you have difficulty in writing assignments or feel nervous before sending emails, this article will guide you on how you can make your writing more constructive. The important thing is to write, whether the text is good, bad, short or long.
1. Write Daily: The key to good writing is writing every day. Try to make a habit of writing, no matter how busy your schedule is. You may take up any topic or things which you notice in your day. Try to think of different situations and create content for them. You can even post things on your social media accounts and share them with people.
2. Read: The first step to good writing is reading. If you don’t have the habit of reading, then don’t expect to write well. Observe the way different people write, – their writing style, choice of words, etc. You must focus on reading books of your interest first as learning should not be boring; afterwards, you can expand to other genres and styles.
3. Expand Your Vocabulary: Words are the soul of writing. You may choose to voice your thoughts in one sentence or paragraph. Everything is in your hands. Try to increase your vocabulary. Learn at least ten new words daily. You may find them in newspapers, books, advertisements, hoardings, and even in day-to-day conversations. Look up their meanings and try to use them in your daily life. With observation, dedicated learning and practice you will gradually become a good writer.
4. Improve Your Grammar: English grammar is tricky. Most people struggle to figure out the difference between can or could and may or might. But there is no harm in going back to the basics; it isn’t a sign of weakness but an indication that you care to improve your writing. If you struggle with written concepts, you can watch videos online that explain different grammar concepts.
5. Avoid Repetition: While it is unavoidable to repeat certain words and ideas, you must ensure that you use different words to avoid making your writing repetitive, boring and dull. Use synonyms, antonyms, figures of speech, idioms, etc. to enhance your writing. If there is cause for repetition of ideas, try to present them in different ways.
6. Be Precise: Long paragraphs and high-sounding language do not always make your writing great. At times, it’s good to be direct in your approach. Write as much as is required. Imagine a situation wherein you are required to compose an email to a client informing them about the confirmation of their order.
Thanks for showing interest in the XYZ company. We are so happy that we are associated with you. You have made the right decision by choosing us. We confirm your order. Thank you so much.
Thank you for showing interest in the XYZ company. We have received your bulk order for 10 units. You will receive your order within 2–3 business days.
We hope to serve you again.
In the case of A, the speaker not only sounds overtly desirous but quite unprofessional as well. In the case of B, the exact information is delivered, informing the client about their order.
Make sure that you write according to the situation.
7. Rewriting: Reviewing and rewriting a text after a break helps in producing a cleaner and better result. Cut out unnecessary words, phrases or sentences that contribute nothing to the text. Try to rewrite any random sentence in your own words without seeking any help. For example,
He was a great admirer of love stories. But at times he read detective fiction.
The above sentence could also be written as
He preferred love stories over detective fiction.
Proofread your own writing.
8. Talking: Converse with your friends, family members, and colleagues to learn new things which could be helpful in improving your language and writing skills. The more you interact with other people and practice your speaking skills, the better your writing will be.
9. Avoid Fillers: Eliminate fillers from your writing. Fillers are meaningless words that can be removed from sentences without compromising the meaning or message of the written text. They are used by people to fill in pauses or add unnecessary emphasis, for example, just, really, basically, actually, very, sort of, kind of, to be honest, etc. Consider the sentences given below:
A. Actually, she is not sure about getting married to him.
B. She is not sure about getting married to him.
Notice that in sentence A we have used the word ‘actually’, but in sentence B, even after removing ‘actually’, the meaning of the sentence remains unaltered. In fact, in sentence B the approach is more assertive.
10. Be Confident: Learning is a slow process but staying confident is important. You may feel discouraged during the process but stay motivated. Keep your head high and learn smartly, without any self-consciousness.
We hope that these points will help you in improving your English writing skills. Work hard to look smart. We wish you good luck with your future ventures.
Gurleen Sethi is a happy-go-lucky person, who believes in enjoying the little things in life. Writing is her passion and a great stress buster.
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