Growing Your Skills: Writing

I’ve always loved to write. I started with writing songs and then transitioned into poetry. Later in life I enjoyed writing short stories and journal entries. I’ve always toyed with the idea of writing a book,  but that’s a project for the future.

My writing style has changed over the years. Sure, my blog posts are informal, but my personal works are more dramatic and dynamic. Writing is a way to paint a picture in someone else’s head through descriptive language. It’s a way to create a new world and bring others along with you to explore it.

There are many ways to develop or hone in your writing skills.

  • Read more frequently. Reading descriptive novels will grow your vocabulary, help with sentence structure, and recognition of how language “flows”.  After high school I stopped reading for a while and I could absolutely tell the difference in my writing.
  • Practice your writing. Even if it’s not a big project you’re working on, practicing your writing will help you to find your style and figure out what works (and doesn’t work) for you.
  • Step out of your comfort zone. If you enjoy writing short stories, try your hand at poetry. If you normally write blog-styled entries, try writing a descriptive essay. Learning to appreciate other forms of writing will help you to integrate pieces of those styles into your own projects.
  • Read what you write out-loud. When you are reading in your head, you may unintentionally skim over parts that need some TLC. Take your time and read what you wrote out-loud to yourself, a friend, or your pet. When you hear how it flows, you might decide that a sentence or two could use some adjustments. This also helps when you are working on punctuation. If, when reading out loud, you naturally pause in the sentence, it may be a spot that needs punctuation.
  • Copy and Paste. Whenever I decide to delete a sentence or try to reconstruct it, I always copy the original phrase beforehand just in case I want to go back to the previous way I wrote it. Another tactic I use is to not delete the sentence at all until I have figured out how to reword it. Instead, I will rewrite the phrase in front of the original sentence. This helps me to compare things that I liked about the first sentence to the final phrase that I will use. Once I have decided on a rewriting, I will delete the original phrase.

 

These are just a few of the things that I feel have helped me to grow as a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I am no professional author, but I do enjoy the art of writing.

What are some tips and tricks that you have used to develop your sense of style and writing ability?

Love Always,

Elizabeth

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