How to Improve Your Writing Skills

posted by Chris Valentine

writing-skillsYour school paper is due and you need to get a great grade, or you want to become the next envied scribe. Also, if you want to move ahead in business, good writing is definitely an attribute of a good leader. Your writing skills are lacking though, and it is causing you stress and despair. Stay calm, because if you are willing to put in the time and effort, there are easy ways to improve your writing. Here are a few key things you can work on to become a better writer.

Do an Outline of Your Work

The best place to start when writing is with an outline. Many get intimidated by a blank page and the thought of having to fill it and others up with interesting words, has been the stuff of many a nightmare. An outline can help you organize your thoughts before you begin to write. Keep it simple, and as a walkthrough of the piece you are about to write. If you need more than a basic skeleton however, write some scenes or topics in the correct order before you begin. An added benefit is that having an outline allows you to keep track of characters, story elements and continuity.

Increase Your Vocabulary

The more words you know, the more options you have to improve what you want to say. Having a broad vocabulary allows you to express yourself with words you never knew existed. Set a goal of learning 5 new words each week, and build sentences around these word each day. At the end of a month, you will have added 20 new words to your writing repertoire. The length or rarity of the words is not a big issue. Words that are too complex can get confusing, so only use words you feel comfortable with. In the end, you will have organically integrated these words into your writing.

Use a Writing Service

If you are on a hard deadline and need to have an essay written perfectly, and you either just can’t get it done, or do not have the time, a great option to consider is using a writing service who can take your ideas and outline and write the actual paper for you. Many people have to worry about essay writing alongside commitments like family and work, and thousands each day turn to writing services, like These types of services help you out in a crunch, and you can review their perfectly written papers to see how someone takes your ideas and edit and modifies them to create quality writing.

Keep Helpful Resources Handy

Thesaurus’ dictionaries, books about writing and other writing related resources that you can locate either at a library, bookstore or online can improve your writing. Locate your own best personal resources and make sure you have several of different types, so you keep your ideas fresh. Bookmark online sites with interactive and informative tools, and ask other writers whose work you respect who they use. Soon reaching out to these resources will be second nature when you are building your writing ideas or get stuck.

Read Lots of Different Writing

The beauty of reading is that you get direct exposure to varying styles of writing and different levels of writing quality. Grab a few bestsellers to get a sense of what good writing looks like, and to see the style of writing that is currently popular. Focus on how good writers construct their stories. Don’t limit yourself to one style or genre. Read magazines, books, articles, even blogs, because each calls for a separate style to appeal to its audience. Pay attention as you read, and you may find key elements to incorporate into your writing.

Get Close to the Writing Community

Some writers say they must work outside the writing community, and that their work is special or too different for other writers to understand. Consciously breaking the rules is different from not knowing them and the most successful rule breakers are the writers who first learned the rules and then learned how to break them. Interacting with peers is a key part of the writing process, so you should share your work with other writers, writing critics and editors. You should expect negative feedback, so develop a thick skin as you share your work with others in the writing community.

No one is born a perfect writer, and the only way anyone improves is by putting in the work to get better. Dedicate yourself to become a great writer and you will become one and also benefit from the joys of writing. Remember, improvement demands time and patience, so be prepared for a long term commitment and watch your skills increase.

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