To write with confidence and clarity it is necessary to work hard at practising and developing your writing. Don’t expect to be a “born writer”. Even the great writers have to work at their craft; there is no reason you should be any different. For this reason it is important to avoid having a feeling that “I am not a writer” If you read exceptional writers and learn from their technique and style you will gain a lot of inspiration. From this you can develop your own style, without seeking to imitate the style of another.
How to Improve Your Writing
Independence of Thought.
Independence of thought is an essential part of developing a unique writing style. Every writer gains inspiration from other sources. But, a great writer is able to add something of his own or look at concepts from different angles. To develop independence of thought we need to be well read, but also able to see beyond the bias and opinions of other writers. To have true independence of thought we need to forget the needs and expectations of the reader entirely.
Writing for the sake of writing
When writing there is a tendency to consider the needs, expectations and even prejudices of the readers. This occurs quite often in certain newspapers. To develop our own unique style we need to be free of constraints about what people expect. We should write from the heart, because we feel it is worth writing, not because we feel it is what other people want.
Writing with Ego.
Sometimes writing may involve writing about yourself. However, when we bring the ego into writing we reduce its readability considerably. A good writer allows his personality to shine through his writing without having to force it. The writing should speak for itself. It is not necessary to include self promotion.
Great writing does not have to be complicated. If it is effortless and easy to read then this is the sign of a great writer. Writers such as Hemmingway and Orwell encourage the use of simple language; avoid unnecessary and long words where possible.
The difference between writing with passion and emotion.
When you write with passion the natural enthusiasm for your subject comes through effortlessly. Passion means that you take the time to research and understand your subject. Your writing goes deeper than a surface treatment based on second hand experience. When you have passion for a subject you can write from personal experience, which enables a distinctive approach and a unique insight.
Quite often, emotional writing relies on appealing to people’s fears and prejudices. An emotional approach to writing often involves injecting personal feelings which colour the argument. A skilled writer can avoid this, he creates the necessary emotion without having to spell it out. For example, if you wish to convey a sense of disgust at a certain situation. The writer should be able to do this through the construction of the words and arguments. Only a weak writer would feel the need of saying at the end: this is a disgusting situation.
For example, if you were a journalist covering a terrible calamity, we should let the description of the event create the necessary sense of sadness / suffering. The key thing here is that good writing leaves the reader to form his own judgement. Emotional writing feels the necessity of telling people how they should be feeling. This is why we usually dislike the tone of emotional writing. It is quite possible for us to develop our own opinions on these subjects.
Be Bold, Be direct
Good writing is clear, there should be no prevarication and dithering. No sentence should be wasted. As George Orwell says “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.” In particular we should seek to start short articles with purpose and clarity. We should engage the reader as soon as possible. Be Bold or go home at Copyblogger
The mantric effect of words
We should look upon words as a means to an end rather than an end in themselves. We use words to create a certain atmosphere and experience for the reader. At times the greatest writers can use words to create an effect which is greater than the sum of the parts. It is good to consider using quotes from respected writers where appropriate. Take time to find the right word:
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.