Practice: Five Tips for Improving Your Writing

typewordsThe adage of practice, practice, practice is an excellent one, especially in relationship to your writing.  I’ve put together five practical tips for improving how you can practice your creative writing skills.

  1. Capture the ideas that you want to write. There is nothing like having an idea land in your head and realizing that it would make a wonderful story. The problem is that if you don’t capture that little bubble of a story. Pop! It is gone! So keep a notebook handy to write down those bubbles of ideas so when you sit down to write – you have something clever to write.
  2. Research specific types of writing and then practice that: Improve your writing by focusing on one type of writing or improving one aspect of writing at a time. For instance, if you want to learn to write poems; research poems and then practiced writing poems.
  3. Write outside your comfort zone: Step out of those things you feel comfortable with and try to write something different. When I first started to write, I thought I would never be able to write dialog, or a children’s story, or a poem, so I practiced those things, and now I enjoy all of that. Writing prompts are a wonderful way to push yourself to try new things.
  4. Edit and Rewrite: First drafts tend to be messy. Proofreading is a must. But beyond that, first drafts are full of mistakes and read rough. Rewriting is the only way you can make your writing more polished and clear. Examining the content of what you have written and then strengthening words and phrases, or cutting out fluffy parts is all part of rewriting. Another way to look at rewriting is to restructure what you have written. To make the story read better restructure it by moving a paragraph or a sentence to another part of the draft. The more you practice the skills of rewriting the better your writing will be.
  5. Welcome feedback and criticism: Having a writing partner or an editor helps you to concentrate on the parts of your writing that need improvement. Joining a writing group can be helpful also. Reading that which you have written out loud often helps you to recognize mistakes or things that are not clear.

 

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