Writing Skills: A Gift or an Acquired Technique?

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Writing Advice for College Students

Author Bio: Susan Saurel is a passionate writer from Texas. She is in love with traveling. Teacher of higher category, a writer for EssayWritingLand, PM in an IT company, lovely mom, and wife. She wants to share her experience with readers and she has something to say, for sure.

You may think that writing persuasive, an engaging copy is beyond you. You believe you don’t have what it takes because writing does not come naturally to you.

Some writers are highly talented, and when you compare yourself with them, you know you have little chance of reaching their lofty heights. You may not be the next Hemingway, but you can certainly develop your writing skills. Even naturally gifted writers are often constantly seeking to improve their skills.

Make sure you know the basics

Some people expect to be able to write without even having an understanding of the most basic grammar and spelling skills. Any skill requires basic knowledge – you wouldn’t think of trying to drive a car without learning how to use the clutch and the brakes.

You need to learn the different piano keys if you want to play a tune. In the same way, you need to know what makes up a sentence if you want to be able to write. “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White is a useful resource to keep next to your desk. For a quick and easy reference guide to correct grammar, you can go to grammargirl.com.

Practice is essential

Nurture the habit of writing. This means setting aside time for it every day. The process may be rather like opening up a rusty, old well at first with words only coming out at a slow trickle. However, the more you practice, the stronger and clearer the flow becomes. Remember that even the best writers often take years to hone their skills and develop their unique voice.

You need to practice to master various writing skills, such as structuring good sentences, choosing the right words and using metaphors to make content more memorable. Chefs will often practice cooking techniques over and over again to perfect their skills. When we eat their amazing dishes, we may believe it was pure talent that enabled them to produce such excellent fare.

They may have had a natural talent to identify certain flavors, to begin with, but that is not enough. They have often spent years learning to boil, bake, grill, sauté and roast. Just like this, practicing writing techniques can elevate your writing to a new level.

Become a keen, observant reader

One of the ways to improve your writing skills is to read books written by good authors. Become inspired by their choice of words and how they structure their sentences to make the most impact on their readers. Try to read challenging material and develop an eye for what makes an impression and what mistakes to avoid.

Imitating the style of writers you admire is a good exercise when you’re trying to improve your writing. This does not mean plagiarizing their work but rather identifying what you enjoy about it. If an author uses dry humor to spice up a dull topic, try doing this to see if it works for you. Examine the techniques used, such as how to transition seamlessly from one paragraph to another, and apply them to your work. Trying out a variety of different writing styles and techniques will help you to identify what works for you.

When you read widely, you also have a basis from which to share with others. You are constantly exposing yourself to new ideas and formulating your own opinions which may be interesting to others.

Join a writing workshop or creative writing class

A writing workshop can be very beneficial because it offers the opportunity to receive feedback. It may be intimidating to have to expose your writing to others, but there’s no way to know what you need to improve unless you do so. Constructive criticism can help you to identify your weaknesses and strengths.

A good creative writing course explores the principles underlying good writing, rather than imposing invented ‘rules.’

Create outlines

Most writers begin with an outline of what they want to write. Sitting down and sketching out an outline can help you to get your thoughts in order. This does not have to be a complicated task. A simple framework with an introduction, several sections with a sentence or two to convey what you will cover and a conclusion may be all that’s required. You can refer back to this overarching structure to keep you on target.

Edit ruthlessly

Much writing involves working on your rough draft to improve it. You need to be able to look at your own work with a critical eye. Have you repeated yourself? Are some of your sentences overly complex? Does it flow logically from one point to another?

Stefanie Flaxman says in an article on Copyblogger.com that in her career as a writer and an editor she has noticed one key factor that enables writers to perform their craft effortlessly: they have the ability to self-edit.

You may think when you read an article that the writer sat down and effortlessly wrote it without having to do any revision. This is not the way writing works. There is often a huge difference between the first draft and the finished product. The first step is to get the words down and after that comes the process of refining and reworking.

If this process is not for you and you don’t have the time to spend planning, drafting, editing, and formatting, you can use cheap essay writing service EssayWritingLand.

Write substantial content

Research your topic thoroughly before attempting to write about it. Many bloggers regurgitate content written by other bloggers without doing their own research. Make sure that your facts are accurate and try to include a few expert statistics and quotes. You don’t need to spend hours cross-referencing to the extent that you lose sight of your goal to produce content – if you focus on perfection, you may end up never finishing a single piece. You have to come to a point when you are satisfied with what you have done.

You need to deliver a nourishing mix of content to satisfy hungry readers. Give them advice with examples from your own life to make it more practical. Tell stories they can relate to and dig deep into the topic to come up with helpful tips they can apply.

Don’t be afraid to say what you think. This can elevate your writing above the boring, repetitive content often found on the internet and make for more entertaining reading.

Some writers may be gifted, but even so, they develop their gift through talking, reading, writing and thinking about words.  The secret to improving your writing is to continually experiment and to work and push forward until your ideas develop. You may have to work hard at it before you start producing gold, but it is possible.

 

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