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Do the Write Thing: 6 Tips to Hone Your Writing Skills

By Ananya Sarkar

We often hear that creative writing involves a flair for writing. You need to have that innate talent to express yourself through the written word. But is this completely true? Is the power to write and appeal simply a part of your nature or can it be nurtured? While opinions may vary regarding this, I personally believe that writing is very much a cultivable and achievable feat. If you want to write well, you need to firstly believe that it is possible and have a strong determination to do what it takes to become a good writer.

It is important to remember that the key lies in patience. The results will not be visible overnight, but on following certain points strictly and consistently, you will notice a drastic difference in your writing skills. How long will it take? Typically, a period of 6 months, but it could be quicker depending on your ability to grasp. However, be rest assured that at the end of 6 months, your creative writing skills will have developed remarkably. Yes, I’m speaking in earnest!

Here are 6 tips to hone your writing skills:

  1. Read Everyday

If you want to be a good writer, you need to be an avid reader first. You want to read every day for at least 10 minutes. It isn’t really a big deal if you look at it. Try squeezing out 10 minutes from your routine – it could be before you go to bed, after returning from work or school or completing your household chores. Of course, you’re welcome to extend your reading time if it permits, but 10 minutes of reading every day is a must! It could be anything, depending on the field or genre you are interested in. If you like fiction, grab a novel or a book of short stories and read it for the stipulated time. If you’re into essays and articles, read those from leading newspapers or authentic websites on the internet. Similarly, if you want to excel in report-writing, make sure you read news reports from dailies that have made a name for themselves.

2. Build Your Vocabulary

Keep a diary with you when you read, and note down the phrases that you like and new words that you learn. This will lead you to expand your vocabulary in a meaningful way. When you write the words, you tend to remember better than simply having them in your mind. Hence, jot down the new words and phrases to learn them effectively.

3.  Go Through the Newly Learnt Vocabulary Periodically

You want to go through the new vocabulary in your diary once a week to internalize it better. This can be done on weekends or a particular day of the week when you are relatively free. As the months pass, the pages of your diary will be filled with more and more words. If time does not permit you to go through all of the vocabulary at once, you could choose certain pages for each day. For example, one Sunday, you could go over the words written from pages 1 to 5 in your diary while on the next Sunday, you could read the words from pages 5 to 10, and so on. 

4. Incorporate the New Vocabulary in Your Daily Life

The best way to learn and remember the impactful terms of expression (which are the key to good writing) is to incorporate them in your daily life. Try to use those phrases while talking to your friend or while writing that essay in your pastime. However, make sure they suit the context. You don’t want to put in words simply for the sake of using them as that will defeat the purpose altogether. 

5. Get Ideas and Inspirations

While reading and learning to express yourself are important, good writing is sparked by new ideas and inspirations. For this, you need to expose yourself to new experiences. Go on a trip, interact with the new student who has joined your class or the new colleague at work or watch a movie that takes your breath away. Try doing things that break the run-of-the-mill pattern of your life, for it is in these that lie true inspiration. Exposing yourself to new experiences will give you new ideas that will make your writing interesting and endearing.

6.  Imbibe the Habit of Writing

Once you practise all the above tips to perfect your writing skills, it is important to write from time to time. Be it a journal entry, a letter to a friend or your random musing on a certain topic, you want to put it in words. The more regularly you write, the better you’ll get at expressing yourself and climbing the growth curve.

When you become a skilled writer, remember to continue with these tips to keep up your good writing. It is important to maintain your desired standard once you achieve it. And bear in mind that there is always room for improvement. Keep practising what you did for 6 months to become that engaging writer whom people simply cannot ignore. Good writing is no rocket science. So, get, set, go!