This post by David Eagle originally appeared as a guest post on Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen’s Quips and Tips For Successful Writers site on 7/6/13.
My writing skills improved dramatically when I freelanced for Reader’s Digest, because the editor would go over every sentence with me. She’d call me up and we’d analyze my articles – and I’d learn what Reader’s Digest readers were looking for, what editors want from writers, and even how to pitch future articles.
Most editors don’t have the time to do this – I was one lucky writer! Though it was painful at times, I have to admit.
Anyway — in this article, you’ll learn several ways to improve your writing skills. It’s written by David Eagle, on behalf of the GKBC Writing Academy.
Here’s the one very important thing I’d add to his tips: EDIT your writing. Don’t just write stuff and file it away. Find someone who writes better than you – better yet, find an editor – and get him or her to tear apart your writing.
10 Ways to Improve Your Writing
Guest Post ~ David Eagle
I work as a freelance writer, creating content for various clients. I also have a blog on my website that I’ve been writing since 2009, which allows me to experiment and develop as a writer in a more unstructured environment.
Like any skill, the more you practise at writing the better you become. I’m going to share with you ten tips that you can use to improve and challenge your writing. These are free, simple and fun things that you can start doing right away…
1. Pick a Word
Open a dictionary at random, take the first word you see and write about it. What feelings and emotions does it evoke in you? This is a great way of inspiring new and original ideas, and adding new words to your vocabulary.
2. Play a Wikipedia Game
Wikipedia has a “random article” feature in the left column of its homepage. Hit the link and let it decide your fate! Try writing about whatever subject it randomly selects. This is another a great way of stepping out of your comfort zone, writing about things you probably know very little about which also helps develop your research skills.
3. Look Around You
Observe and write about what’s going on around you. I get so many ideas just from conversations I’ve overheard in restaurants, on buses or on trains. If you are looking to write fiction then observing situations and characters around you is an excellent exercise. Just don’t get caught staring intensely at people as you write derogatory things about them in your notepad! I am not taking responsibility if you end up in hospital.