Guest Post by Jeff Peters: 4 Essential Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

Writing is an essential skill that is valued in today’s world.

It is an ability that is overlooked and often not cultivated to its full potential. Fortunately, there are many things that an individual can do every day to strengthen their writing skills, eventually becoming the best writer they can be. From reading to discontinuing the use of spellcheckers, simple changes in lifestyle can help build skills anybody can use to be a better writer.

1. Read

images-2At first it may sound strange that reading and writing are linked in such a way but it is true. According to college paper writing experts at SolidEssay.com, in order to understand how to write well, you must read things that are written well. Read newspapers, accredited medical journals, and great works of literature. It is good to read everything as long as it is coming from a trusted source. Reading of any kind is encouraged in these modern times, but when it comes to strengthening your writing muscle it is good to stick with educational material or professionally published books. This will help you to avoid picking up bad grammar and other bad writing habits.

2. Write

images-1Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. In order to perfect your writing you must write, every day if possible. It may be a struggle and you may only have a few minutes to spare, but it is best if you dedicate even just a little bit of time each day to practice your writing. This time will allow you to find your voice, cultivate your style, and learn what you do and do not like about your own writing. Practicing your own writing will also allow you to read through what you have written to discover mistakes you make, allowing you correct them in the future.

3. Stop Using Spell-Check

imagesSpell-check is too readily available on virtually every device used to write. Before the appearance of computers and cell phones, all we had were pencils and paper. Our spell-check was a dictionary and an eraser. At first spell-check did make our lives more convenient but now it seems that it has taken away the motivation to actually learn how to spell at all. The reliance on spellcheckers has made many of us lazy. What is the point in learning how to spell if my computer or my cell phone will do it for me? This reliance and consequent laziness in regards to spelling has resulted in lethargy towards writing. You must be excited about your writing; if you are waiting for the computer to do it for you it will be hard to remind yourself why you are writing in the first place. (Now Write! Editor’s Note: And spell-checkers can’t discern correct usage such as there vs. their, one vs. won etc).

4. Proofread and Revise

images-3Now that you are reading every day, practicing your writing and a champion at spelling, your writing is surely improving. However, even the best writers make mistakes which is why an excellent tip to becoming a better writer is to always proofread. It will help to have somebody else proofread your work as well. It is very easy to miss our own mistakes. Proofreading will help you avoid handing in work with simple spelling or grammar errors that you overlooked. Try to stay positive during the proofreading process. Nobody writes a perfect piece every time; do not expect this of yourself. Just be thankful that you caught any mistakes made before handing in the final document and try to correct those mistakes in your next assignment.

Do not be afraid to revise either. If it so happens that you must rearrange sentences or paragraphs, omit lines, or even rewrite entire pages, do it. It does not mean you failed. This is all part of the process of becoming a better writer. You are learning what works, what does not work, and putting that into practice. Being able to admit that you have made a mistake and correct it in an effort to better yourself is something to be admired. Do not be ashamed of growing in this way. Revise your work and know that it is for the best.

Improving your writing is not an easy task.

It takes time and dedication. Often you will feel like giving up, or like you aren’t making any progress. Continuously remind yourself that you are working toward something, and that you are making progress. It may be slow and arduous, but you will get there, and your readers will thank you for your struggle.

JeffPetersJeff Peters works part-time at SolidEssay.com helping students format and structure their essays and research papers. He has written a post on how to write a theme-based essay and is currently working on a series of “How-To Writing Tips” that every student could make use of.