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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

On Becoming A Better Writer



Is there good writing out in the world, from white papers and business reports to blog posts, newspaper articles and books?  It seems for every great piece of writing, there’s a stack of mediocre works to counterfeit.  What would improve the quality of what’s written and circulated?

Let’s look at what we typically find wrong with someone’s writing:

1.      It’s poorly organized or repetitive.

2.      The work needs to be shorter.

3.      The main message is unclear.

4.      It’s not direct or precise enough.

5.      There’s too much jargon thrown in.

6.      Overuse of the passive voice.

7.      Poor use/lack of statistics, facts or graphics when the subject demands their existence.

8.      Lack of creativity.

9.      Suffers from being predictable.

10.  It’s too formal or informal, depending on the intended reader.

Some works start out badly and never recover, whereas others get off to a good start but then fizzle.  Everything – from a short essay or poem – to a 500-page novel – needs a great start, strong finish, and a decent middle. There needs to be a connection or flow throughout the work, or somewhere along the way you lose your reader.

So what might help you to become a better writer?

1.     Practicing good habits.

2.     Collaborating with a co-writer.

3.     Training from a mentor, school, online course, or a book.

4.     Participating in a writers support group.

5.     Working with to a good editor.

6.     Asking for feedback you can trust.

7.     Becoming a more aware reader.

8.     Improving your vocabulary.

9.     Mirror writers that are successful or admired.
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Writing is a little like cooking – you mix a certain number of ingredients together in a measured a way and you produce something that’s edible.  But to make it taste really good takes a certain touch.  Writing, too, is a mix of formula and something extra. That something extra that makes it uniquely good or bad comes from genes, life experience, generating ideas, and practicing the craft of writing.

Perhaps one place to look for growth as a writer comes from attending a writer’s conference.  Just circulating with like-minded creative artists who also want to pursue their passion could give you a boost.  When they begin to discuss their shortcomings and challenges, you may come to identify with some of them.  Once you feel open to learning, improving or changing, you will have already become a better writer.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 
http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs  

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