Take a moment and think about your favorite author, blogger, or journalist. What makes them so appealing to you? Is it the way they convey their message? Is it the way they draw you in with their content? Is it the style or word choice that they use? Whatever the case may be, there’s one parallel with our favorite writers: they all have a writing style that we enjoy. From poetry to drama, there’s always something that makes us gravitate towards them: their words.
You’ve probably been in a position where you’ve wished you could be as articulate and stylistically gifted as they are. Maybe you’ve sat in your room, throwing out hundreds of pages of draft essays because you just don’t know how to make the words flow together. But fear not! Here are some tips that you might find helpful the next time you need to submit a piece of writing or want to improve your writing skills in general.
The most important thing to consider is your audience. Writing a business email to a colleague or your employer has a completely different tone than a poem for English class. Knowing the purpose of your work, and who exactly will be seeing, will help narrow down some pesky uses of language. For instance, let’s say you’re reaching out to your teacher for help on an assignment. If you know them relatively well, it’s all right to stay slightly informal, but you need to make sure you’re still staying relevant and being respectful of their time. By contrast, quickly firing off some texts to a close friend probably won’t require the same amount of time and formality.
Second, understand that your writing and speaking are closely related. Therefore, reading your writing aloud or hearing your writing be read to you, may help you catch careless mistakes. As well, if you draft your writing pieces and structure them as if you were about to present them verbally, it could assist you with structure, flow, and organization. Of course, these techniques will vary depending on the style of work you’re trying to hone, and it’ll require some experimentation for them to effectively become second nature.
Reading your writing aloud or hearing your writing be read to you, may help you catch careless mistakes.”
Finally, and this is the most difficult one: practice. Practice, practice, practice. There’s really no way to get around it; if you want to improve at anything, it requires dedication, drive, and determination. Many of us in junior high, high school and university find ourselves in time crunches almost every day, where we try to fit what feels like thousands of tasks in 24 hours. In these situations, it comes down to prioritizing. What’s more important to you: improving your writing so that you become more articulate, compelling, and witty: or, getting dinner with your friends? The decision is yours to make. If you’re making smart choices but still can’t seem to find any time, look for pockets throughout the day. Are you waiting for the bus? Write! Are you in a free period? Write! Are you sitting in bed, sick, and have no motivation to do homework? Write! There’s always time for little things, as long as you put your mind to them.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to integrate these small bits of advice into your daily routine. With enough time and effort, your goals for effective, creative, and intriguing wordplay will come as a habit. Good luck!