Feel like you’re stuck with the current level of your writing ability? Struggling to get better, or maybe you don’t even know how to go about improving?
Then the following 5 quick-start tips to help improve your writing are for you.
I’ve personally used them to un-suck-ify my writing within a matter of a few weeks.
Now granted, I’m consistently improving all the time of course, but these 5 quick-start tips gave me a quick boost to start improving my writing.
And that’s the point with these tips. They’re not magic pills to go from bad to great, but simple tips to quickly un-suck-ify your writing and get on the right path to consistently improve.
Without further ado, here are 5 quick-start tips to help improve your writing:
1. Write How You Talk
If you wouldn’t use it in a conversation, don’t use it in your writing.
Just write how you would say it.
It’s a lot easier to start writing this way, because you don’t need to try writing – you just do it.
No analysing the style, or figuring out which word to use – just write how you’d say it.
Plus, if you’ve ever tried to figure out how to make your writing style stand out, this is how you do it.
A conversational tone makes you human and interesting – and uniquely you, since no one else talks exactly like you.
2. Keep It Short
Throw the following idea out the window: that each piece needs to be an essay.
Nothing needs to be anything.
Say what you need to say, and not a single word more.
Don’t worry about making it a certain length.
The point of your writing is to deliver a message, not appear long.
Length is irrelevant. It’s about the content, not how it looks.
If Leo Babauta can keep it to 400 words for some of his writing, so can you.
3. Use Simple Words
Don’t think you need to look like a fancy writer with your writing.
Use as simple words as possible.
Don’t use a long, wordy word when a shorter, more often-used synonym will do.
Using simple words not only makes it easier for you to write, but it makes it easier for more people to read what you have to say.
When in doubt, refer to point #1: if you wouldn’t use it in a conversation, don’t use it in your writing.
The point of your writing is to inform and/or entertain, not to impress people with your word processor synonym skills.
It’s what you say, not how you say it, that ultimately counts.
4. Use a Simple Style
Don’t think you need to be creative with the format or presentation.
It’s about the content, not how it looks.
Yes, a cool visual or formatting style can help, but it’s easy to get the presentation wrong and screw up what otherwise could’ve been valuable content.
So don’t worry about a format or presentation.
Just write and keep your paragraphs, headers, and so forth as simple as possible.
The honing of how you present your writing will come with time.
5. Forget What You Learned in College
Break all the rules:
- Write in first-person
- Insert opinions
- Inject words and slang you actually use
- Have one-sentence paragraphs
- And so forth…
You’re done playing by professors’ rules (who probably hated those rules anyway), so no need to keep following term paper rules.
Unlike breathing, drinking, and eating, there’s no right way to write.
Since writing isn’t something you need to do it to survive.
There’s no right or wrong – only sucky and awesome.
So just have fun writing.
Quick-Start Tips to Help Improve Your Writing
If you feel you’ve been in a writing rut, stuck with your current level of writing, hoping to somehow get better, then these 5 quick-start tips can help you break through that wall and start improving your writing.
No, these tips aren’t magic pills to “Instant Writing Success!”, but they will get you on the right path to consistently improve.
I know they’ve greatly helped me. After all, you’ve read my writing this far without clicking the Back button, so hopefully I did a decent job of informing and maybe even entertaining you.
How about you? What other quick-start tips have helped you to improve your writing?
About Göran Askeljung
Prof. (op) Göran Askeljung is also the author of BrainRead – Effective Speed Reading and Director and Senior Trainer at immediate effects. Since 2015 Göran is also a Certified Facilitator und Associate of Consensus in NY, MD of Consensus Austria and Germany and Business Consultant at askeljung.com. Göran is Professor of Practise and Head of the Institute for Sales and Negotiations at the Georgian School of Management (GSOM). He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Austria. Göran is a consultant for The Forum Corporation (UK), eBda (Fr) und Napier Training Associates (UK) and is a Certified Solution Selling® Professional from the SPI University in USA. Göran is also a certified Microsoft Solutions Sales Expert (MSSE) and is an associate lecturer at the Economical University of Vienna, the University of Vienna and the University of Graz in Austria. Having lived in Austria since 1990, Göran has held positions as MD for Microsoft Networks (MSN) in Austria, Framfab and Icon Medialab, as well as various Management positions at Ericsson, T-Systems and Konica Minolta. As a Sales- and Productivity expert, Göran is passionate about developing sustainable efficiency through interactive and well-designed learning experiences. His compassion about his expertise comes from experience as a business owner and through many years in Management. Since 2003 he has built his own L&D business in Austria, designed and developed L&D programs and facilitated for many thousands of people. Göran is married and has two children. Social Media Links: Oxford Encyclopedia | LinkedIn | XING