November 3, 2010

Practical Ways to Improve your Writing Skills

The need to improve your writing skills depends on how important good writing ability is to your career or profession. Very few people will have the option of not having to write anything. For most of us, committing our thoughts and ideas on paper is almost always a required activity. Not everyone will have the time to listen to you or view your video and a written document is still the best means of sharing what you want others to know.

Your time is the most important resource that you have in your professional life. Writing can become a time-consuming task if you will not make an effort to improve the way you write. Time is also the most important resource that your audience has. Poor writing will result in their time being wasted in understanding what you want to impart to them. Hence, improving your writing skills would benefit not only you but also the community where you operate.

I have compiled a few tips that you can use to launch a project for improving your writing ability. Your goal is to be able to write effectively and save on the time it will take you to perform your writing task. You don't want to be misunderstood by your readers, nor do you want to bore your readers with information that they may not need. You don't want to spend too much time writing and your readers would not want to spend a lot of time reading your written work.

Understand What Writing is about

Writing is committing your thoughts on a medium to make it available to your readers when they have time to read your work. When writing, you are capturing your ideas from your brain and physically converting those ideas into digital form for easy storage and retrieval later.

Face-to-face communication is the best approach for conveying your message to other people. However, this is not always practical to do and that is why writing was invented. When your audience is reading your work, you are not there to explain yourself. That is why you should help your readers to understand what you want to say by using a writing style that is easy to read and does not waste your readers' time.

Have a Positive Attitude toward Writing

Your will have a difficult time improving your writing if you maintain a negative attitude toward writing. Other people also have a writing phobia that hinders their ability to launch a writing activity.

Writing is not that difficult to do. I am writing this article and I don't find it extremely difficult because I have a goal that I want to accomplish by doing it. Try thinking about the benefits that you will gain by becoming an effective writer. Set up your own objective for your writing improvement work so that you will gain a perspective on why you need to undertake this project.

Doing what you're afraid to do is the best way to banish that fear from your mind. Engage yourself in a lot of writing practice by writing on topics that interest you most. Having a lot of written works under your belt will convince your mind that writing is not something to be afraid of.

Improve your Typing Skills

Writing is a mental and physical activity. Our mind and our body operate on a different time frame. The brain works infinitely faster than our hands. Thus, it is important for you to be able to catch up with the speed in which your brain operates. One way to do this is to improve your keyboarding skills. Typing by using just a few fingers will not work. It is not too late to study touch typing and improve your typing accuracy and speed. Aim initially to achieve a 25 words per minute typing speed, then go for 45 words per minute.

Learn How to Slow Down your Thinking Process

Another way to decrease the time lag between your brain and your hands is to slow down your thinking process. Writers have developed this ability unconsciously in the process of undertaking the many writing assignments that they have accomplished. It takes some effort to practice this skill initially but as time goes on, it will become second nature as you embark on more writing activities.

Teach your Mind How to Organize Ideas

What you have written reflects how your mind has organized your thoughts and ideas. Your mind has an innate ability to group ideas that belong together. This is a mapping activity where you set aside spaces in your brain for distinct ideas that you want to include in the work that you are writing. Your mind will use concepts and categories to organize all the ideas that you want to include in your write-up. Your mind will also tell you the sequence in which these ideas should be released to your readers. Thus an outline takes form which you can write down to serve as a guide when writing your article.

Improve your Mastery of your Language

Learning how to speak your language has already provided you with the basic rules and structures that you can use to build your sentences. However, the rules are stricter when writing because of the limitations of the written form. Grammatical errors in speech are excusable and do not greatly affect the effectiveness of the communication. But in the written form, grammatical mistakes can hinder the effective flow of ideas. In addition, readers prefer certain qualities in a writing style that makes them more motivated to read your work.

Know a Lot about the Topics that you Expect to Write on

Read a lot of articles and reports on the subject area that you would be writing on. Researching for information causes a lot of delay in a writing task. Having ideas about your topic that are fresh in your mind can greatly speed up your writing process.

Reading articles about other topics can expose you to the different writing styles of other authors. You can use this opportunity to look for techniques that you can use in your own writing to make your written work friendlier to your audience. It could also provide you with ideas that you can include in your future writing assignments.

Practice Writing

Writing on topics that interest you most is a good way to exercise your writing skills. Our muscles tend to deteriorate when they are not used frequently. The same is true with our writing skills. You can set aside time for your writing practice and practice less frequently first then increase the frequency until you have reached a point when you find it easy to launch a writing activity.

Let a Good Editor Improve your Written Work

Letting a good editor improve your written work is one of the best ways of enhancing your writing skills. You can compare what you have written with how your editor has improved your work and find out the secret of a good writing style. Having your written work corrected by a good editor is a unique opportunity that you should not miss. Being edited is the normal course of events in the life of an aspiring writer.

I think that editors can be the best teacher for writing courses because they are the people who are most exposed to mistakes in writing. One cannot become a good editor without himself becoming a good writer first. So if you know of someone who is good at editing, make an effort to befriend him and later ask him to help you improve your writing skills. You will discover how your writing will have improved once you let a good editor work his magic on your article.

Then you will be ready to develop your own unique style as you graduate from being a writer to becoming an author.

Read my other article on how to control your mind during the writing process at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-control-your-mind-during-writing.html

Read my other article on how to write an article for your website at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-and-how-to-write-article-for-your.html

Read my other article on good ideas about writing as a mental process at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/03/good-ideas-about-writing-as-mental.html

Check out a list of links to articles on ways and means of becoming a good writer at: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BwcdVZGRss3eZWYxYmEzYTgtMWU5Mi00NjU3LWFjNzktNjIxOWZiZjY0ODFm.