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Guest Post – Ways To Improve Your Writing ;o)

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been having fun with the interviews here lately, so I thought it was time for a guest post! My new friends over at the discontinued My Dog Ate My Blog (how great is that title?) were kind enough to offer up a great post on improving your writing. You may ask… surely, none of us need that, right?

True. You are all fantastic writers. I know. I read your blogs ;o) However, every little tidbit helps us learn, eh? So, I give you a wonderful guest post from Jasmine Jacobs!

Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills

No matter how hard you try, there is no way to avoid writing. Even if you’re no longer a student, you might be asked to write up a description of your latest project at work. At home, you might have to write a blurb about a car you plan to sell on craigslist. Although all writing may seem like a struggle at times, the most difficult part of it is arguably, creative writing. With creative writing, there is nothing to reference but that which comes out of your own mind and sometimes these files are more than a challenge to access. No matter who you are, at some point you will be called to put your writing skills to the test. If this idea seems daunting, we’d like to rebalance your qi by providing certain ways that will surely have those words spilling out on paper or a word processor in no time.

1. Read more.

Something enjoyable you can do to improve your writing is to read more often (eHow). Most of the best writers are frequent readers too. By reading a book or article, you will get a sense for that author’s own writing style, which you might begin to incorporate into your own. There’s something about the free flow of words, even if they are someone else’s that might loosen up your own words. Reading also strongly enhances your vocabulary, saving time because you won’t have to visit your thesaurus as frequently. If you’re at a loss for antonyms to use for “said,” we strongly encourage you do some reading outside your normal routine.
Although we said that it’s okay to incorporate some pieces of another writer’s style into your own, you don’t want to completely duplicate another’s style. One, because this would be a form of plagiarism, for which you will be held accountable for, and two, because it’s difficult and unnatural to write like someone else.
2. Be yourself.

Another important tip to improve your writing is to simply be yourself (Creative Juices Books). When people read your work, they should be able to know that it came from you. What makes for good writing is when the reader gets a sense that the author has lived fully–that certain descriptions about the events in the work have been witnessed by the author during his or her years on earth. Even if you have a similar background, you have lived a completely different life from other authors, so let that resonate in your work.
3. Write everyday.

Another powerful way to improve your writing skills is to write everyday (Ezine articles). Your creativity, especially how it manifests in your writing, is like a muscle that can only be strengthened with exercise. We’re not asking you to nix precious hours of sleep so that you’re able to produce a chapter a day. You can dramatically improve your writing skills starting with just ten minutes a day spending some quality time with your pen. Once you develop a habit, writing for you, will be like second nature!
4. Get comfortable.

Something all of us have probably dealt with at one point or another is writer’s block. If you’re lucky enough not to know what it is, writer’s block is that cringing feeling that no matter what you do, you can’t possibly continue (or start) your work. The main reason for writer’s block is a lack of confidence, or the fear that you will be harshly judged for producing poor-quality work (Duke Graduate School). You can overcome your anxieties, and subsequently, your writer’s block, by engaging in pre-writing exercises. Go to a comfortable place and brainstorm everything you can possibly do with your work. Doing this will give you a confidence boost similar to that which children receive in training wheels. After all, no one’s going to judge you for your rough sketches, but pre-writing exercises may very well get you over the hump.
J. Jacobs is a guest blogger and a writer on accredited online colleges for Guide to Online Schools.
Thanks so much, Jasmine ;o) Well folks, either hell has frozen over or there are pigs flying out of my butt… beacause I’m nearing the 200 follower mark. I know. I didn’t think it could happen either. So, I’ve decided I’ll be doing a contest! *bites nails* So far, I’m going to be giving away LINGER, by Maggie Stiefvater. I might be giving away another book and maybe some yummy treats. Oh and maybe (okay this is for sure) a BEAUTIFUL CREATURES pin too (I have two, but I’m keeping one!) So. Look for that soon!

Have a great weekend everyone. Do something fun!!

13 Responses to β€œGuest Post – Ways To Improve Your Writing ;o)”

  1. Michelle says:

    Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I never get tired of reading tips on improving my writing. I especially needed the help with the writer’s block. I am at a scene that I just can’t get out and it’s so true… I really am afraid of the judgment. The rest of the WiP was so easy to write, but this last part has me tied up. If I get over this ridiculous fear, I can finally finish! Great post!!!

  2. Michelle – Yay! I’m so glad you found it helpful ;o) Writer’s Block is no fun! Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Diane says:

    The “get comfortable” / writer’s block info was new to me. Thank you for sharing. :O)

  4. Diane – Oh good to hear ;o) Have a lovely weekend ;o)

  5. Great advice. I especially agree with Read More. Nothing helps our writing like our reading! Especially in keeping up with how the style of writing is constantly changing πŸ™‚

    I loved Shiver – haven’t read Linger yet – looks great!

  6. Jemi – I agree, read more. Which is what I’ve been doing lately, it’s really helping too! I loved Shiver too! Hmm, well maybe you can win LINGER on a certain someone’s blog? Have a great weekend!

  7. Great post. I agree on all four points.

    And I love that pic. Those birds are cute.

  8. Thanks, Medeia! I love the pic too ;o) I think I got it in an email forward or something, just so cute!

  9. C R Ward says:

    Great post, Erica, and good advice Jasmine!

    The only thing I would add is to #1 – read more, but not to the exclusion of all else. Or maybe I’m the only one who tends to do that. πŸ™‚

  10. Matt says:

    Erica, don’t yell at me. I’m so damned tired I skipped straight to the comments to tell you about the award for you on my blog.

    I promise to come back tomorrow and read, read, read.

  11. CR – Thanks! Oh I agree ;o)

    Matt – You never fail to put a smile on my face ;o) Thank you!

  12. Great post by Jasmine! I can definitely see how a lack of confidence could lead to writer’s block. I think after a particular blow to my confidence, it becomes very difficult to get back to writing.

    Congrats on nearly hitting your next milestone! πŸ˜€

  13. Thanks, Carol! I totally agree, makes it a lot harder ;o)

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