Writing comes easy to some, and with others, it can take a little time. The common factor with all kinds of writers, whether they write fact or fiction, for business or leisure, is this: writing takes practice. Our writing skills can be developed constantly, no matter how long we have been doing it.

We’ve rounded up six top ways to improve your writing skills. You may be surprised to see that practice isn’t always in the form of writing! Read on to find out more.

1.      Read Often

Reading as often as you get the opportunity to will help in a variety of ways. Your vocabulary can be broadened, you can pick up on writing styles that you like, and even those that you don’t.

Whatever the industry, whether you are writing fact or fiction, there are bound to be some writers that you prefer over others. Knowing what you like from these authors can help to influence your own writing skills and choices.

By finding writing skills and techniques that you admire, you can create a collection of inspirational works which you then use to learn from. As you practice your writing, you can compare your own learning to these admired works and keep track of your development.

2.      Write Whenever You Can

Now, this is the most obvious way of how to improve your writing skills, but practicing does help. Putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard in a practice setting can help you to identify any existing writing skills or strengths as well as weaknesses or areas for improvement in your writing.

You can use these practice periods to try out particular styles that you enjoyed while reading, as well as other techniques, so that when it comes to writing the main piece, you know what to do.

There are many different writing skills to be mastered, such as weaving snippets of information into stories, creating rhythm with sentences, and even getting to the point with concise writing.

Each of these, as well as all other writing styles, take time and patience to perfect.

3.      Re-trace the basics

While mastering new styles is helpful in the development of your writing skills, make sure that you are also fully grounded in the basics of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Perfecting these will improve the way in which your writing reads. Plus, correct usage will make you sound much more professional.

In both the basics and in understanding new styles, set small, achievable goals, and stick at it.

Planning is Key

When it gets to the stage where you are ready to start putting all of your well-practiced writing skills into action, be sure to plan out your writing appropriately.

Understanding the outline of the content, the writing style, and how you will construct it into its final form, be it a novel or a report, will help to guide you through the process.

For example, how much information can be given away at each stage, in a way that it tells a story and that the reader can also keep up with what is happening? To succeed in this, it is crucial to plan out the structure properly.

Take a look through our blog on planning out the writing process for further help on getting started and organising your thoughts before you begin writing.

Anticipate the Reader’s Reaction

Fact or fiction. Essay, report or book. Whatever you are writing, it is expected to be received by the reader. Throughout the planning and in the writing stage, be sure to keep at the forefront of your mind how the reader will react.

Will they have any questions? When will those questions be answered? Are they to be obvious answers or will they be uncovered later in the text?

Whatever the answer, be sure that it will be revealed to the reader at some point.

Another of the facets of great writing skills is to assess how much description will need to go into profiles of people, places, historical events and more.

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and take it from there.

Drafting and Re-Drafting

Your first draft is certainly not your last. That’s why it is a draft.

Be prepared to make tweaks, move things around, take things out and add things in. What sounded good the first time may not sound quite right when you re-read through it. You may need to be a little harsh on yourself to perfect your writing, but it will lead to better work.

Fine-tuning the small details and making sure that every sentence serves a purpose can be draining and time-consuming. If you have taken the time to improve your writing skills before you started writing, then it may be easier to identify and rectify errors.

Editing and Proofreading

You may want to think about getting somebody who is detached from your works to read over the piece and edit it after you have made your own amends. This will ensure that the story or the information makes sense to the standard reader and flows in a way which the reader can understand.

Once the editing is complete, proofreading must then take place.

Proofreading will seek to ensure that grammatical, syntax and spelling errors are eradicated and that the whole text makes complete sense. Any words which don’t quite fit in the context can be amended and then the finished product can then be achieved.

Whatever the type of writing you are creating, at Express Proofreading, our expert team can manage the proofreading of your work, but should you want to check for yourself first, read our blog on how to effectively proofread your documents.

You can obtain an instant proofreading quote through our website. We even have an express turnaround service, so if you are working to a deadline, then you can still ensure the quality of your work is at its best.