Just like with anything else, getting good at writing is all about practice. The more you write, the better.
In fact, the main difference between a professional writer and you is that you don’t write nearly as much as they do.
Still, there are some pro tips from CustomWritings experts that can help you become the best writer you can possibly be (on top of practice). Check them out and share with every struggling writer you know.
1. Read more
The laziest way to instantly improve your writing is by reading a lot, not to mention that it’s also exciting and educational.
You’ve probably noticed that avid readers tend to speak more eloquently. Well, the same is true for writing. What’s more, you don’t need to go out of your way to memorize new interesting words and phrases; it’ll happen naturally.
Keep in mind, though, that it matters what you read, so Instagram posts probably won’t do. If in doubt, google the writers who are known for their high-quality prose and start with those.
2. Write consistently
Treat writing like working out (provided you do work out systematically).
That’s what all professional writers do. Inspiration is good and all, but it only strikes one occasionally.
Writing five pages at midnight once a month won’t do much to your writing skills. Instead, dedicate an hour or so to writing every day or at least every other day.
Just like with working out, it’ll soon become part of your routine.
A pro tip: it helps to establish a ritual. For example, choose one place in your apartment and write there every time.
3. Brush up on grammar rules from time to time
Sure, we’ve all learned grammar rules back in school. But it never hurts to revise them, especially if you’re not a regular reader. There are countless online grammar blogs out there, from Grammarly to Grammarphobia.
Pick the one you like the most and start following it. It will definitely help you improve your grammar and reduce the number of mistakes you make in writing. Don’t forget about syntax and text structure-related content as well.
4. Learn from the best
This one goes together with reading. We all learn by doing, but it does help to surround oneself with outstanding writing.
In addition to books and well-written blogs, consider looking at professional samples from a custom essay writing service, like CustomWritings, for example. It’s especially relevant if you want to focus on academic writing in particular. Online content and fiction won’t be too helpful with it, but custom academic papers will.
5. Whenever you read something you like, pay attention
While it will certainly help, it’s not enough to merely read more. You have to pay attention to what you like about each text and what you don’t. For example,
you may notice a great phrase or original transition. Highlight it and practice using it a bit to make sure you won’t forget it as soon as you close the book or online page. It also makes sense to have a notebook where you keep all the words, phrases, and sentence structures you’d like to imitate.
6. Research before you write
Unless it’s a personal narrative, no writing is ever good without research behind it.
Whoever your reader is, they want to be left with the feeling that they’ve learned something new. This is especially crucial in academic writing. It typically requires you to cite your sources, which means that you need to research quite a bit to find credible and relevant ones.
But even if you’re writing an online post for your blog, always do the research first to back up everything you say with evidence. Otherwise, the reader won’t be sure whether or not to trust your expertise.
7. Never neglect to outline
Ask any professional writer what they think the most important part of the writing process is—and they’ll almost always say that it’s creating an outline.
The thing is, whatever you’re writing about, it’s easy to get carried away, even more so if you are genuinely passionate about the topic. As a result, when you write without outlining first, you risk ending up with a text that seems chaotic, has no structure to it, and is hard for the reader to follow. So make sure to have an outline ready before you start writing (and consult with it every step of the way).
8. Get yourself a writing partner
Most of us have been a member of a study group of sorts, either in high school or college. Have you ever wondered what the point is? Well, having a partner (or five) to study with can help a lot.
First, having others involved will keep you accountable. You’ll probably feel ashamed to admit that you have nothing ready by the day you agreed on, so you’re more likely to have something done.
Also, another person is more likely to catch any mistakes, repetitions, and inconsistencies in your texts. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t a professional—they can still see more in your writing than you can.
9. Challenge yourself
If your only goal is to improve your academic writing skills, you can skip this one. But why would you? No matter what you do or end up doing in life, being a good writer will almost always help your career.
And if nothing else, your online blog or Facebook page can become your creative outlet. That’s why you should practice different types of writing. Feel confident in your essay writing skills? Amazing. Now try drafting a decent business email.
Dip into everything, from poetry to the analysis of current Supreme Court cases and beyond.
10. Don’t treat your first draft like a complete paper
Most people who don’t enjoy writing and lack experience try to get it over with as soon as possible.
They often hand in the first draft of their academic research paper or post online content without editing it. This is a losing strategy.
Professional writing is about rewriting and polishing. The more times you reread your draft, the more flaws you’ll catch. Ideally, have your rough draft ready several days before the deadline. Then you’ll have enough time to change it as many times as you need until it’s perfect.
11. Always edit and proofread multiple times
Even your final draft is not a complete paper. Once you feel like your writing is done, edit and proofread it for any mistakes, repetitions, and typos. Then let it be, and don’t look at it again until the next day. You need to see it with fresh eyes to catch everything you missed before. Also, ask someone to read your text and then edit based on their suggestions as well. Finally, run your complete paper through online grammar checkers.
12. Make sure your writing is plagiarism-free
The last step of your writing process is not exactly about your writing skills, but it is essential nonetheless.
Even if you know that you haven’t plagiarized anything, there’s still a risk of unintentional plagiarism in your writing.
Even professional writers aren’t immune to it. Whether you’re writing an academic paper or content, plagiarism is unacceptable. Never neglect running your text through online plagiarism detection tools.