Writing is for everybody. There is a misconception that writing skills are essential in only a handful of professions. Writing is not just a tool to communicate at work but also a way to express one’s thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Writing can be a personal experience as it can make a person attuned to his/her feelings. It can unlock the doors to realms of creativity.
Irrespective of how writing plays a role in one’s personal or professional lives, one must acknowledge that improving one’s writing is vital for effective communication. Working on bettering one’s writing is a constant process. By following five simple exercises, one can enhance their writing abilities and take it to another level.
Write without filter: More often than not, it is a good idea to research or gather thoughts before one begins to write. But sometimes, writing with no filter can have a great impact on developing a free-flowing writing style. This writing exercise requires a person to write as he/she thinks without worrying about the quality of the text or cohesion of ideas. It is what the romantics call “pouring your heart out on paper”. Those who aspire to develop a more free-flowing and natural style of writing should spend at least 30 minutes each day trying to write with no filter. This exercise is critical to improving one’s writing as it helps in developing the writer’s intuition. It helps the writer to let his/her ideas run wild without being curbed by the standard tropes of writing.
Revisit grammar rules: This exercise is considered equivalent to going back to school as one recalls the grammar lessons that they learned in their childhood. While many people think that they know all about grammar, nothing could be further from the truth. And even if one has a great command over grammar, it would not harm to brush up on some grammar rules every once in a while. In this exercise, one must not only revisit grammar rules but also test what they have learned before implementing them in their writing. There are plenty of online resources available to test one’s skills in various grammar lessons. A writer that spends a few hours every week to hone his/her grammar know-how will definitely be a step closer to writing flawless content.
Proofread and edit others’ writing: Proofreading has to be the most overlooked part of writing. One would be surprised to find the number of errors in writing identified by a round of diligent proofreading. To master the art of proofreading and editing, one must dedicate time to read and edit other people’s writing. The problem with proofreading one’s own writing is that it can be tiresome to identify and analyze the errors after spending hours on it. A rookie writer might not be great with proofreading their own writing. Thus, one needs to learn how to effectively proofread and edit by working on other people’s writing. While proofreading peers’ work, one is less afraid of being critical and can offer a fresh perspective. To practice this exercise, one needs to find a writing partner so that they can proofread and edit each other’s work. Only after spending a considerable amount of time editing other’s writing does one develop the knack for effectively proofreading one’s own writing.
Write on random prompts: One of the most admired qualities of great writers is their ability to write on the cue. They are capable of writing engaging content on any topic in no time. To develop the ability to write on impromptu topics, one needs to practice working with random prompts. This exercise requires a person to write non-stop on random topics for at least five minutes. In a way, it is an extension of the first exercise but instead of writing about what’s on one’s mind, one needs to write spontaneously in response to the given prompt. This exercise helps the writer to improvise when they write.
Reflect. Rewrite. Repeat: Last, but not least, one needs to learn to detach themselves from their writing to reflect on it from a fresh frame of mind. In this exercise, a writer needs to take a break from their written text and revisit it after a couple of days. While reading the completed work, the writer needs to analyze their writing in order to find any areas of improvement in terms of opinions, writing style, sentence structure, etc. If the writer feels their writing lacks depth, then they need to rework it. After rewriting, they must take a break and repeat the reflect-and-rewrite process until they are satisfied with their writing.
Since practicing all five exercises every day can be time-consuming, one can alternate by choosing just one exercise each day.
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