The skill of writing is more of an art than mechanical function. To mold and shape words to suit your needs requires talent, and some are naturally born with this ability. However, for those people who feel they do not have the innate ability to write well, listen up: you are not alone. In fact, those who have to work for their writing accolades drastically outnumber the natural authors.
Understanding the difference between the two types of writers and identifying yourself as one of them is the first step towards becoming a better writer. Don’t worry—we will discuss why you should improve your writing later in the article.
Am I Naturally Talented or Do I need Some Help?
Really sit down and analyze your writing ability. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Has anyone ever read your writing? Who were they and how reputable of an editor are they? What were their comments?
- How easy is it for you to sit down and write?
- Are you able to write in a variety of different modes?
If you’ve answered that people of high standing have read and approved of your writing, then chances are that you are a skilled writer. Then, if you answered yes to the last two questions you are more than likely a naturally talented writer.
Even if you have a tendency to write well without much effort, there is always room for improvement.
Either Way, Have a Slice of Humble Pie
Humility here is key—you may think that you are the best writer, but exposing yourself to new niches and broadening your horizons may help you feel differently. Regardless of the effort you put in to your writing, it is important to understand that there will always be someone who writes “better” than you; there will always be a more “creative” and “talented” individual. However, there is no other person who brings all of your unique talents to the table.
Every legendary writer has had that one professor, editor, or mentor who has utterly crushed their syntax—torn apart their grammar, and insulted their paragraph structure. There has been at least one driving influence to push further and keep pursuing the goal of professionally writing. If the drive is not there, then there is no way for a writer to last.
Realizing that your writing can always improve is pivotal towards becoming an even better writer (and sometimes person, too!). Good writers consistently receive constructive criticisms on their writing and always seek to improve; therefore, here’s our first reason as to why you should improve your writing.
So, Why Should I Improve My Writing?
Follow us as we document some of the top reasons why you should serve yourself some humble pie and pursue improvements in your writing:
Peer Pressure—All of the Professionals Do It!
Every talented writer continuously seeks room for improvement from other reputable writers and editors. Emulating the professionals should be the goal of anyone looking to write, regardless of the reason. Whether you want to write for fun or for an audience, it is advisable to always seek improvements.
It’s Easy to Do
Many claim they do not have the time to put towards their writing, and others feel they do not even need the extra effort. However, did you know that fixing your writing can be a quick and painless process? There are a variety of different ways to improve your writing; some options may be more painstaking and time consuming than others, but selecting just one and working gradually can be quite a simple task!
Writing is the Most Important Skill Anyone Can Acquire
Regardless of your profession, the ability to write can put you ahead of the competition. Think about it—when was the last time you judged a potential worker based off of their website or business card? We all do it! Spelling errors, lack of description or attention to detail, punctuation mistakes: all of these errors will have you noticed and not in the most desirable way.
If you run your own business especially, then it is in your best interest to brush up on your communicative skills. It might be underestimated how powerfully your words speak volumes for you and your business.
But Wait—Before Looking into Ways to Improve Your Writing
It is first important to ask yourself why you would like to improve your writing. Are you writing for fun and looking to be more creative? Or are you seeking publication? Writing is an art due to the fact that no two people can perform it alike, and every writer is unique. However, writing goals and tasks should be taken into consideration.
Various Ways to Improve Your Creative Writing
There are a myriad of different options to help yourself open up and become more authentic in your writing.
1. Lose the Technology
Our lives are filled with useless junk that clouds our creative abilities. Spend a day keeping track of all the times you search the Internet, scroll Instagram without a reason, shop online, play videogame apps, and much, much more. If you then spend the next day without any of these distractions, then you will begin to notice the unique aspects of life.
2. Spend Time Outside
Nature affects writers by enhancing senses and emotions. The transcendentalists were on to something when they sought natural settings removed from the industrial boom. While technology and its effects are important to our ever-growing society, it is quite detrimental to creativity. Spending time outside will force you to take in your surroundings. Writing about nature will naturally help you enhance your imagery and vivid detail, which can in turn only enhance your creative writing.
3. Find a Muse
It might sound cliché, but having a purpose for your creative writing, a muse if you will, can be very helpful. Keeping one person or object in mind can help you remain focused, thus making it nearly impossible to stray too far off into the “other” possibilities.
4. Keep a Journal
Journaling is a great way to become more creative. Writing down anything that you think can be both helpful to your writing and therapeutic! Eventually, once you have started writing in your journal quite a bit, you will grow to love your journal. Bring it with you to jot ideas in. Try to keep yourself from writing your grocery lists in it, though—creative ideas only! Also try to keep your mind open when writing inside the journal. If you fall into the “dear diary” routine, then branch out of it by finding some creative prompts online. There are great prompt generators that can give you plenty of ideas!
5. Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone
Playing it safe is not an attribute of the creative. In order to tap into your unique, original style, it is essential for you to take risks, both compositional and creative. If you consistently write poems, then branch out into a short story. (Perhaps you can take it easy by working with vignettes first!)
6. Join a Niche
Creative writing groups are inevitably within your area, you just might not realize it. Google “Creative Writing Groups” and find some nearest you! Collaboration with others can help you push yourself further and in turn receive feedback and ideas from others. After all, two brains are better than one! And the best part? Everyone else who is there is in your same shoes; they too are seeking to better their writing, so the pressure is off and you are all on an even keel, despite you talents and abilities.
So What About Non-Fiction Writing?
Beyond creative writing, a whole world of non-fiction writing exists within the realm of the writing universe. If you are looking to improve your non-fiction writing, then here are some ways to go about your efforts:
1. Brush Up on Your Mechanics
Whereas creative writers can narrowly escape grammatical rules; however, those writers branching into the non-fiction realm cannot so easily sneak by. Unfortunately, writers are immediately judged by all—after all, your writing says everything about your ability, right? Readers will automatically create a preconceived notion of you as both a writer and a person upon reading your work, so it is pertinent that you brush up on your grammar and mechanics. Any non-fiction writer should have a strong command of their language; so if you need to educate yourself then do not be ashamed!
2. Write a Few Samples
If you are writing non-fiction pieces, then chances are that you are looking for publication of one kind or another. Therefore, it is advisable to create a few samples first. Build a portfolio of your writing so that any future clients can view your skills before risking a job on you.
3. Keep the Task in Mind
Depending on the type of writing, a client may be waiting for your work to send to one of their superiors; therefore, you need to consciously write with the client in mind. Are you writing web content for a makeup company? Then keep the sales pitch in mind. Are you writing an article about the Ebola virus and you need to use medical terminology? Then research your topic fully and keep the prime focus of information in mind.
4. Educate Yourself
Keep yourself informed of the various types of non-fiction writing available and the differences amongst them all. A powerful writer knows how and when to switch their voice for the desired audience. Therefore, if you are looking to improve your non-fiction writing then you should dabble in all of the different genres. Try a web content type job where you need to dip into the marketing world, or pick a topic to research and write an explanatory article. Staying up to date and informed will keep you both marketable and highly sought after by potential employers.
5. Take a Class
Many institutions offer classes for up and coming writers and veterans. Search your area for any writing classes available. Some may cost a small fee, but for the most part they can be attended without cost! Often times many of these classes are held by aspiring writers or author’s groups, so attending a class may provide you with essential networking.
Here are our suggestions for implementation
1. Seek Constructive Criticism
It is important to note the difference between regular and constructive criticism. Instead of finding someone to critique your work, find someone who will help you grow as a writer. Anyone who offers only critique and no help towards getting there is not worth your time or energy.
2. Stay Positive
Regardless of your desired outcome, whether it’s to become a more creative writer or attain acceptance with one of the top newspapers, you should always stay confident in your abilities. Remember that no one can produce the writing that you are capable of, and you are unique (which is great!). It is important that you stay positive and confident in yourself.
3. Always Educate Yourself
Staying up-to date on the most recent idioms, formatting rules, and terminologies is key to becoming a stellar writer. The times change quickly, so make sure that you adapt accordingly.
4. Stay True to Your Original Intentions
At the end of the day, you are the writer and it is your writing you seek to improve. Therefore, you should always take a step back and ask yourself if the work you are putting in is for an outcome that you desire. The world or writing sometimes can try to change a person; an editor may not like the way you write, or a client may disagree with your verbiage.
We wish you all the best in your future writing endeavors! Remember that writing is truly an art form—no two people can create the same masterpiece. Instead, take ownership of your words and craft them to your liking. While one reader may reject your writing, there may be another out there just waiting to read your wonderful creation.
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