10 Ways How to Write Better and Engage Your Readers
Do you know that readers make up their minds to read a piece the first five seconds into the written piece? If your writing does not engage them they stop, if it does, they continue to read.
In one way or another, writing is a part of our daily communication. This could be born of the need to keep records, communicate or just for business. Whichever way, the goals you set for your write up must be achieved, if your writing is to be engaging.
As a passionate writer, you will agree with me that every written piece is out to either communicate, inform or entertain. This, in other words, means that for every written piece, there is a goal the writer has in mind for the piece to achieve. You have failed as a writer if your writing doesn’t match the benchmark you have set for it.
To do this, however, you need to know how to improve your writing style. The post will help you master how to write better, the exercises to improve your writing skills and how to communicate better with your writing.
It doesn’t matter if you want to go into freelancing, book writing, technical writing, ghostwriting or fiction writing, these tips will change your writing game forever.
Tips To Improving Your Writing
Do you know that athletes workout every day not minding the fact that they might only be competing in the next four years at the Olympics?
Like these athletes, you must write every day, every single day, to build your writing muscle. If you don’t use your writing muscle, you will lose it.
It doesn’t matter what mood you are in every single day, you must cultivate the habit of writing if you want to write better, even if it’s a thousand words.
This is one of the tips great writers have attributed their success in the field of writing to.
So every day, commit to writing a piece for your blog, for your mailing list or for your social media handles.
“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
― Ray BradburyBecome a freelancer and earn from the comfort of your home
As a writer, apart from writing every day, another job you should take up is reading. This might seemed obvious, but it’ll help you improve your writing.
We all know that to learn a trade or a skill, you need to learn from folks ahead of you. This same pertains to writing also. Read books of gurus who are ahead of you in your chosen field.
When you take reading seriously, you broaden your experience, creativity and increase your knowledge of the topic. You also strengthen your vocabulary.
While reading these books, pay attention to the style of writing and method employed by the authors of these books to convey their messages.
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
Pay attention to your Grammar:
Consciously or unconsciously, your readers are grammar police without a barge. Nothing put a reader off than a grammatical error a writer missed.
If you don’t pay attention to your grammar, you will be tossing your credibility into the sea. A single error can make you lose your readers’ attention and money-making opportunities.
Make effort to get your grammar right. Familiarize yourself with grammatical rules that guide the English language, or the language you write in.
You can employ editing software like Grammarly to help you scan your writing for errors.
Write a review of all your readings.
Its help to not just read, but to also write out your opinion and review of the books or piece you read.
This process, help you kill two birds with a stone, you read and write at the same time.
It helps you gather your thought and develop your opinion of what you have read.
Read meticulously to understand why you are in love with the author, his writing and why others, also, love his/her work.
Form your opinion about it in a review. This helps you get better.
“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”
― William Faulkner
Track Your Ideas
Ideas are important. The quality of your writing is enhanced by the way you track and handle your idea. So you must treat your ideas like treasures.
One way to do this is to have a notebook handy. In this notebook, you will jot down ideas that flow into your mind.
Write down the idea for a book, a story, a novel, or an essay. Write down all the details that came along with the idea, write down your thought on how the idea will be implemented.
I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me
—Ray Bradbury, WD
Make It Short:
In writing quality triumphs over quantity anytime, any day. Writers who are able to be concise in their communication and engagement are most likely to be rewarded for their efforts.
In other to make life and reading easy for your readers, you must be ready to write “simple”. Employ simple words, simple sentence structures and simple and short paragraphs.
Employ shorter sentences with powerful verbs. Avoid adverbs and unnecessary Adjectives. Instead of writing, “Aliko Dangote is very rich” say, “Aliko Dangote is wealthy”. Always find the best words for a scenario to avoid the sloppiness caused by adverbs or adjectives.
“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”
—Stephen King, WD
Distractions are all around you, you live with them, and they suck the best out of you. They kill the writer in you.
You have to deal with the distractions, Netflix, social media, your children, spouse or habit, pose to your writing game.
Procrastination, lack of a clear goal, lack of discipline, and lack of focus, are killing your writing game. If you want to write better, you must immunize yourself against them
One way to do this is to have an impeccable routine. A routine you follow through and through.
These writing routines include rituals, writing time, reading period and other activities that make your writing endeavour organized and purposeful.
Kill distraction before it kills your writing prowess.
Learn to revise and edit your Writing:
I must confess that editing is the hardest and the most boring part of writing for me. That being said, this part is the most important.
You must have come across a written work that seemed to have a great idea behind it, but it ended up pissing you off because you found some errors in them, or because the writing was not adequately pressed to bring out the juice in it.
If you have spent hours putting your thoughts together to produce written content, it is only right that revise adequately what you have written.
You separate yourself from mediocre writers out there when you do a good job editing your piece.
Writing is only 30% of the job, editing is 70%.
“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
—Larry L. King, WD
Take Feedbacks Seriously.
I sense that you might be one of those who have trouble coping with criticism. However, you need feedbacks of any form to become a better writer.
Get your friends or your writer colleagues (those who will be unequivocal with you) to read your manuscript. Employ the service of an editor, one who will be open to telling you your flaw and how to write well. However, don’t be depressed when they start their job. They might make your work seem like the worst piece ever written.
Most importantly, implore your readers to send you their opinions of your writing; areas they think you can get better in, areas you should put more effort into. Sample their opinions. Act on the recommendations you get from these feedbacks.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”
—Harper Lee, WD
Write Like a Copywriters:
One thing Copywriters do effectively is to make their piece conversationally. You want to make your reader feel that they are having a conversation with a friend. Make them feel they are characters in your writing.
Your readers will relate to your writing better when you write as you talk. You don’t have to bore them by written as though you are writing a business report.
You want to win your audience’s attention by using storytelling. You want to take them on a journey that will thrill them.
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.”
Learn From Great Writers:
Although nobody can teach you how to write, however, you can learn to write better.
You can learn the secret employed by great writers to make their writing clear, engaging and relatable. You can learn by reading their books on how to write better. Most importantly you can learn via mentorship and paid courses.
Learning from these greats accelerates your progress, boost your confidence and make you more accountable and disciplined.
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master”
The most important thing to do to get better as a writer is to always put your pen to paper. Just write. You get better when you practice.
If you are a freelancer or wondering how to start your freelancing journey, click here.