If you want to become a better writer, whether for college, personal writing, work, or any other reason, you aren’t alone. Doing a simple internet search will reveal that questions about being a better writer are among the most frequently asked. Students, such as this one asking for the best essay writing service Reddit, are desperate for writing help. While many subject areas, such as science, history, and math, tend to stay neatly in their own classes, writing is the one skill that pervades them all. Becoming a better writer will impact your grades in all classes, as well as your relationships and career.
Writing well is a difficult task and it can be hard to know how to get better. Reading grammar books, using online resources, and studying vocabulary can help you with skills, but writing is about more than knowledge. In order to become a better writer, you simply have to do more writing. As with anything else, practice makes perfect-or at least, practice makes better.
While writing every day may seem a daunting task, it can help to have some specific exercises to help guide the process. As well as helping to get you started, these exercises can help you focus on specific areas of improvement and force you to think about your writing in a different way.
Keep a Journal
Daily writing is one of the best ways to become a better writer. Commit to writing a journal entry every day to start your day out right. You can write this however you want- it can be a diary-type journal, or you can write in a stream-of-consciousness style about whatever is on your mind. You could write in a different style each day, such as a poem today, an essay tomorrow, and a descriptive piece the next day. Whatever you choose, the style and genre are less important than the daily free-writing practice.
If you are struggling with this, consider purchasing a journal with prompts on each page. These are available in many different themes and styles and something is available for everyone. You can even find journals that combine scrapbooking, art, and other media with writing prompts for an eclectic and creative experience.
Write with Restrictions
Set yourself a restriction for a piece of writing. This will force you to become more creative with your writing and think out of the box. Not only is this good practice and a good way to focus more closely on the small pieces of your writing, but this can also be fun and interesting. These restrictions are arbitrary and can be whatever you want.
- Write a descriptive piece without adjectives, adverbs, or both.
- Write without using a specific letter.
- Write a section of dialog without using any form of “said”.
- Write without using any pronouns.
- Create a short story without using any dialog.
Re-write Something You Love
Many great writers improved their skills by re-writing pieces by authors they wanted to emulate. While you obviously can’t copy and plagiarize someone’s work as your own, you can copy the works for your own practice. This was one of the techniques used by classical educators in the past to teach writing.
To benefit from this technique, find a piece of writing- a poem, an article, an essay- and read it carefully. Then rewrite the piece. You can rewrite it sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, or simply try to rewrite the whole thing in your own words without following the structure of the original.
Regardless of how your final piece turns out, this exercise will force you to read closely, observe style and syntax, and notice how the expert uses phrases and structure. The observation of the other writing is the greatest benefit of this exercise.
Write From a Different Point of View
Writing from a different point of view can force you to think outside of your box.
For example, if you are a creative writer, write a sympathetic piece from the point of view of an antagonist. This has been explored many times, but it’s still a good exercise. Most pieces of this kind of writing end up with the reader in a moral quandary because they now sympathize with someone to whom they are morally opposed.
If you have been writing a lot of essays for school, consider writing an essay that supports a point of view you disagree with. This is just an exercise, probably not something you want to turn in to a professor, but it is a good way to learn how to be a better persuasive writer. By trying to persuade someone to believe something you don’t agree with, you will be forced to remove any personal feelings and agenda from your writing and use facts, statistics, and convincing speech to make your point.
The most beneficial exercise to becoming a better writer is reading more. Read better quality writing in the style you want to emulate. Read excellent writing in genres you don’t usually read. Study bad writing and see what you dislike about it. Read newspapers, magazines, articles, books, and essays. The more you read, and the more carefully you read, the easier and better you will write.