Over the years I’ve always gotten lots of compliments on my writing, but I don’t think it came natural to me. To be honest, I absolutely SUCKED before going to college. Now when I read back my old essays from my 1st year at university, I cannot help but cringe. So how did I develop my skills you must wonder? It couldn’t be easier: I was simply forced to write a LOT of essays, and at a certain point I came to develop a personal style which people seemed to like.
That being said: I mean people in general, not my teachers at University. They always said that I wrote ‘too accessible’, a critic of which I never understood why that should be a bad thing. OMG! I write in a way that people can actually understand me instead of using lots of confusing academical words that no one likes. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!
At that time, I hated the fact that I had to write 2 essays per week, but now I couldn’t be more grateful for developing such a great skill! People always ask me for tips but I never really knew what to tell them because for me writing became such a natural thing: I never thought about using special tactics or anything like it. However, lately I have been paying attention to my writing process to see what I do to improve my texts, and I found 7 tips for you guys!
1. Write. A LOT: Okay so this one I already gave away, but I figured I should mention it anyway. It totally makes sense really: how do you expect to become better at something if you don’t practice? Start writing and pay attention to the elements in your texts that you like. Make sure to use those elements more often in your texts and voila! You developed a personal style.
2. Read out Loud: When I am not sure whether a sentence sounds smooth, I read it out loud. Does something sound weird? Change it till it sounds good. This can be quite a puzzle sometimes, but it definitely results in higher quality texts.
3. Make short Sentences: It is very important to keep in mind that the average attention span of humans nowadays is pretty much the same as that of a goldfish. Keep your sentences short, otherwise their attention will drift. Did you just notice that the first sentence was much harder to read than the second one? Yep, point proven ;)
4. Use your Interpunctions Right: Using interpunctions at the right moment will definitely help you make your text more readable. I like to consider them as attention guides: now that I placed a colon in my sentence, you are paying more attention because you assumed I would write down a conclusion, didn’t you? Comma’s and dots are vital to make sure your sentences get too long; we don’t want our readers to loose attention after all. Last but not least I love to make side notes while writing – by adding a ‘hyphen’ I create extra dynamics in my texts.
5. Write like you are speaking to your audience: A text becomes more fluent when it feels like you are speaking to someone. Maybe you’ve already noticed that It creates more dynamics in a sentence because it feels like you are interacting, don’t you think so?
6. Don’t get complicated to sound smarter: In order to endeavor the implementation of a fractious erudite confabulation, one must consolidate many myriad and nominal words: a gratuitous pursuit for the haughty rabble among us. I think this one speaks for itself… doesn’t it?
7. Edit over and over: Once you’ve written a text, it is highly recommendable to read it over a couple of times. You will find that some phrases don’t sound as nice as you imagined, or that you made a spelling mistake, or perhaps that you missed some interpunctions: it’s all possible, because we are all human! Even better: let someone else read your text and use their feedback to improve yourself, that’s the best way to learn! For the record: I read and changed this little text more than 10 times while writing it – just to give you a slight impression :)
So that were my 7 writing tips to improve your texts! Were they useful for you? Do you recognize some of your own techniques in there? Would you like to learn more about writing? Let me know!
Lots of Love,