I am passionate about writing. I also do freelance copy writing, script writing and blogging. I am a stand-up comedian as well, which to my mind is an extension of writing too.
Off late, as I write more and more, I come across problems in writing. Problems-such as where should the period be in a dialogue, how should apostrophe be placed when the sentence ends with an s…etc.
In order to improve my writing, I am doing a few things to improve my writing and perhaps freelancers who are primarily doing content writing work could use some of these ideas:
1. Read books on improving writing
I recently read Writing That Works; How to Communicate Effectively in Business- which I think is a useful book. The book has been recommended by David Ogilvy in one of his 10 tips on improving your writing. I have also ordered a copy of On Writing by Stephen King. I will, most likely, be reading more-at least the Elements of Style, which has been recommended by both these books. I have chosen to master writing, which I think I will never be able to do-since mastery and perfection are goals which are never meant to be attained. They exist so we don’t stop striving to be better.
2. Write a lot
So, write a lot. As I mentioned above, I am a stand-up comedian as well and I have figured that the more I hit the stage, the more comfortable I get with it. The more we write, the more challenges we face and as we try to find solutions to those problems, we become better writers.
3. Don’t get confused between American and British English
Now, this is a tricky one. Look at your audience. Generally, I prefer American writing styles, for example, the periods come inside the parenthesis at all times in American English, which apparently is not the case in case of British English.
I like to say “all writers are readers but all readers are not writers.’ Reading is the input for writing and all writers must read, to my mind. I can’t think of someone who loves to write but don’t enjoy reading. Reading helps us understand various styles, while keeping us informed and entertained. After all, we are all in the same metaphorical boat.
5. Make your own list
These are only a few suggestions, which I have been using and intend to use for improving my writing skills. I exhort you to make your own list and work on it.
Well, this is for this piece. We are all in the same boat.