Useful Techniques to Improve Your Texts
Sep 6, 2022self-education
Great writers are not born – they are made. Or better to say, fostered and self-made. In fact, many famous writers have publicly confessed that they would not have become what they are if not for various reasons requiring them to change and to get better: tough childhood, good friends, talented relatives, specific education, and of course hundreds of writing development techniques. Below are some of the most simple, yet useful techniques for how you can become better as a writer and improve your texts already today.
Read a lot
Reading is fundamentally different from watching movies. Whether you are aware of what is happening on the screen or not, when you watch a movie, the story goes on by itself. On the contrary, reading a book forces the brain to be active from start to finish, though a certain loss of attention due to distracting factors is still possible. However, when you read a book carefully and thoughtfully, you activate your entire brain including all of its analytical and creative capabilities, which is a great way to train your writing skills.
Perhaps, for some, it will sound obvious, but it is worth repeating – it’s impossible to learn how to express your thoughts well on paper without reading hundreds of books. Read all sorts of books. Of course, you cannot read all the books in the world. Nevertheless, try not to limit yourself only to a single genre, for example, fiction, as there are also scientific, philosophical, lyrical genres.
Your writing and cognitive skills will improve automatically with a large number of books read.
Make friends online
Start regular correspondence with people you find interesting. Exchange emails, short messages with them on topics within your writing sphere. This is a very good technique to improve your writing skills. In fact, many famous authors back in the 19th and 20th centuries have grown and matured as writers by running regular correspondence with their peer writers, relatives, and friends.
For many people, it is easier to express their ideas and thoughts in private written conversations. So why don’t you test your ideas with your online friends first before putting them into your actual texts for a mass audience? You will be pleasantly surprised by how useful this simple technique is for your writing skills.
Use strong words
Good writing is all about unpredictability and emotions. The most emotional, powerful part of the text is the verb. Thanks to a strong word, such as a powerful verb separated by a comma or a dash mark, a simple sentence gets a very strong emotional charge and affects the person reading it.
Analyze texts written by other writers, ideally decorated ones. If you find words or phrases that leave a strong aftertaste, write them down and use them whenever possible in your own texts. Make a notebook with such words. There is nothing bad about that and nothing to be ashamed of. Also, look for your own strong words and phrases: take a dictionary, scan it randomly and find the words and phrases, which might be useful for your writing.
Keep a diary
A diary is not only a great place for storing memories, but also your best tool to develop your writing skills. If you plan to write serious academic work or a book but are scared to get down to work immediately, start with something smaller first. Make a diary. Think of it as your draft place, a test space to practice your thoughts and ideas there.
In your diary, you may not only write, but also make sketches, draw visual diagrams, scenes, and portraits (if you are good at it), and create tables. You can even ponder about why you are afraid to start creating a book, list all your obstacles and fears in this regard. Once you have pulled all the fears out, they lose power and you will suddenly see more opportunities of how to overcome those fears.
Start a blog
This is very much the same as a diary, but in the case of a blog, you will learn to check your texts and be more critical of what you write about. Blogging is very helpful in understanding what people care about. They will comment on your blog and you will see what they care about the most, which parts of your texts get more attention, where your weaknesses are, etc.
You will finally understand that it doesn’t always matter what you put into your words, however, it is always important how people perceive it. No one will be interested in your idea, no matter how brilliant it may be, if it is hard to understand.
By running a blog, you will learn to perceive your finished work (an article, a story, a post) as something whole. You will understand how and where to attract the reader’s attention, and which feelings are worth evoking in which situation.
Also, with a blog, you can experiment. For example, write a post that should trigger a particular reaction of yours, and by reading it in a little while see if your indention worked. Blogging is a very fun and educational exercise.
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