How to teach yourself to be a better writer

Create, share, and inspire. Whether it’s ourselves, other people, businesses or causes we’re passionate about, writing allows us to build connections with others. Writing helps us communicate who we are, what we believe in and what we have to offer. The stories people tell, and the words people use to frame those stories construct the world in which we live. Writing is the lifeblood of society and culture.

At Elite Words, we create written content for our valued clients all day, every day! Striving to produce quality work has helped us harness the skills we need to continuously become better writers.

So, how do we do that? How do we teach ourselves to be better writers? Well, read on to find out more about our top five writing tips!

Make time to write
Whether you want to create high-quality website copy, deliver excellent speeches, or spend more time writing for leisure, you should articulate your thoughts and feelings in writing every day. Unsure what to write about? Don’t worry. The possibilities are endless.

If you’re looking for some fresh ideas, here are some suggestions:
• current affairs you’re passionate about
• discussing your favourite books, movies or podcasts
• a dream you had
• an abstract concept you’re interested in, such as gardening, comedy or philosophy
• your present surroundings.

Writing every day helps to refine our communication skills while also developing our unique voice as a writer. In your first draft, write like no one is reading. Give yourself permission to release what you want to say and how you naturally express it. Editing comes later.

The writer’s fuel: Listen to the world around you
Someone’s writing is often a reflection of what they’ve taken in and how they feel as a result of this experience. To expand your inspiration tool kit, listen to what’s happening all around you. What do people talk about? How do they relate to each other? What are the narratives that dictate the reality you find yourself in? Taking an active interest in the life around us helps to cultivate our insight and adds more colours to the writer’s palette.

What do you like?
Everyone is a responder. We all take in, digest and express information. Tuning into the way we respond to the world furthers our ability to empathise. Having a strong capacity to empathise helps us create content that is relatable, enthralling, and inspiring for readers.

When you listen to a song, talk to someone, see an ad, or read an article, how does it make you feel? What does the creator do to elicit your response? Do you feel motivated to perform what they’re directing you to do? Why? Why not? Make a note of this. Consider how you like being spoken to. It’s also highly worthwhile to reflect on your favourite brands, people, and products. What convinced you to trust them? Analysing how others sell themselves helps us make informed decisions about how we express ourselves.

Reading is the study of writing
Be it music or sport, everything requires us to draw inspiration from others to learn. Writing is no different. We’re not born with the ability to write perfectly. We learn how to write by studying how others write. The bestselling author, Stephen King, once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

Reading anchors our understanding of what it’s like to be an audience member. Having a strong sense of what we enjoy reading helps us create content that resonates with our readers. When we deep read, we can observe how writers use language devices to construct meaning. How do they express themselves? How do they frame and structure their ideas? How do they address their audience? Focusing on how writers choose words, control syntax and weave ideas together keeps our critical thinking skills active. Critical thinking is essential for writers because it fuels curiosity and creativity.

Don’t forget to edit
Editing our own work involves more than looking out for typos. Before you revise your work, remind yourself of your audience. Are you wanting to address business leaders, adults, teenagers, children, the general community, or a group of people with a specific interest?

If you’ve written something you’re intending to publish, ask yourself what you’re wanting to achieve. What is the tone of your piece? How do you want people to feel after they’ve read what you’ve written? What is the call to action you want to elicit?

To test if our work evokes the desired response, ask a trusted friend, mentor, or colleague to read it. Our ability to think critically about our work can sometimes be hindered when we’re wholeheartedly submerged in it. Allowing others to read our work gives us access to outside perspectives. Other people can identify if we’ve accidentally given off the wrong tone or poorly explained something. Letting other people read our work enables us to change our writing for the better.

Knowing the relevant style guide is also essential for anyone wanting to publish their work. Different people, workplaces, and publishing outlets have preferred writing styles and conventions they expect writers to adhere to. Not following the relevant style guide risks our content being dismissed, preventing others from reaping the benefits of our hard work.

Writing is a valuable skill that helps us better connect with the world around us.

Do you want to see the power of well-written prose? We’re here to support the endeavour! Whether it’s through editing, content creation or strategy, we’re here to help you achieve your strategic communication goals. Contact us to find out how we can help you!

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