As a writer, you might sometimes feel like you’re on top of the world—like you’ve just authored something that’s genuinely good, worth being proud of. Most days, you’re probably going to feel a lot less confident, a lot less secure. The writing life exists between those two extremes, and so long as you don’t spend too much time at either end of the spectrum, you’ll likely be alright.
No matter how good you think you are—or how bad—there’s always room for improvement, always an opportunity to get better. Whether you’re working on a full book manuscript or simply some company blog posts, it’s worth taking some time to hone your writing craft, to become more skilled at conveying your point and shaping your words.
And the good news is, you don’t have to enroll in a creative writing course to do so. Here are a few quick exercises that will boost your writing acumen and perhaps even build your confidence:
- Read a lot. This is the #1 piece of advice that writing instructors tend to give, and not without reason. The more you read, the more natural and intuitive you’ll become as a writer, and the better able to conjure evocative words and sentences while mastering the mechanics of sentence construction. Read voraciously—books, blogs, magazines, whatever interests you today.
- Impose some limitations on yourself. Force yourself to write in certain forms or to adopt certain restrictions. Write a few tweets; practice some 100-word short stories; try your hand at a long-form blog, maybe 1,000 words or so; do something very formal, than tackle the same topic informally.
- Write in specifics. Writing about abstract concepts can be a dead end; instead, write about some specific stories or people in your life. Master the art of concrete details.
- Write in different settings. If the only way you ever write is sitting in your office at the laptop, don’t be surprised when you find yourself feeling a little stagnant. Avoid this by taking your notepad to the park or to the coffee shop. Write in different environments to stimulate creativity.
- Work with an editor. Working with an experienced, professional editor will provide you with a fresh perspective and some specific ways in which you can improve your writing—things you might not think of on your own.
Pursue mastery of your craft each day; you may never reach the point where you have that top-of-the-world feeling every day, but you can rest assured that you will get better over time!
To speak to one of Grammar Chic’s editors, call us at 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net.
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