You know who your audience is, you’ve been writing for them for a few years now, and yet your writing feels off. In a competitive industry of bloggers, online writers, copywriters, freelancers, and content marketers we face stagnation. We don’t know if our writing is improving, degrading, or simply blending in with the crowd. There are tools (like AtomicWriter!) to help, and thousands of blogs publishing and republishing writing advice, but how do we become better if we’re already seasoned writers?
Don’t worry, we continuously scan the Internet to be in the know, and have developed a routine to keep our technique fresh. Here are 4 ways you can hone your writing skills:
1. Daily Writing Prompts
There are dozens of sites that give you a daily writing goal or topic. You can get an email reminder, or find it in places like Reddit or Twitter. If you prefer print you can find books that give you writing prompts and the space to fill it in right inside the book (just remember your pen). Completing a daily writing prompt encourages creativity, helps you organize your thoughts, rids your mind of noise, and helps you make mental connections quicker.
Remedies writer’s block.
2. Subscribe to the ‘Word of the Day’
Sign-up for emails that send you a new word everyday. Although many of you might have a vast vocabulary, exercising it is very beneficial. With the word you are sent, write a sentence or two using it. We took inspiration from our childhood with this one. Do you remember writing lines as kids? Repetition is key to expanding your vocabulary, which gives you a bigger selection of words to pull while you are writing with less difficulty.
Remedies ‘what’s that word again?’ or ‘what’s another word for that?’ syndrome.
3. Proofread Someone Else’s Work
By proofreading someone else’s work, you are exposed to another person’s writing. As you search for errors and possible ways to rephrase or restructure, you will be using and leveling up your critical thinking skills. As the saying goes “we learn from our mistakes”, or in this case someone else’s. Increasing the clarity of your tone, highlighting yourself in your writing, and inherently avoid making the same mistakes are just some of the takeaways. Areas of opportunity include Reddit threads, freelance sites, students who need writing help, and even friends or family that need a second eye.
Remedies stagnation and desensitization to your own errors.
4. Take a Break
Writing is a critical and creative exercise. When you force yourself to crank out content, the quality of your writing degrades, and ideas and flow of thought start to slow. Instead of being unproductive during your break, you can try writing out your thoughts on a different medium like writing it out on paper and then switch back to your desktop, or catch up on your news feed, which can respark your current project.
Remedies boredom of topic and writer’s fatigue.
We often are too busy to read the hundreds of articles that are published throughout the day, and have tight deadlines to make on our content calendars. If you continue to produce work without taking a step back to assess your own writing you might get left behind and become irrelevant or uninteresting to your audience. Be inspired, do something creative, and practice writing something different daily, because it will come through in your writing.