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What does it mean to be a “good” writer? The term “good” is one of the most subjective words in the English language. What one person considers good can be considered terrible by another.
Being a “good” writer isn’t about being able to write eloquently with the correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. It’s about being able to effectively communicate a clear message to a particular audience.
So the actual goal isn’t to be a “good” writer – it’s to be an effective writer.
Here are five tips to help you become an effective writer!
Tip #1: Be specific and clear.
The goal of writing is communication. You have something you want the readers to know, so use the power of words to relay that information as clearly as possible.
The more specific and clear you are in your writing, the deeper you can tap into the imagination and senses of the readers. Do not have readers guess at what you’re trying to say. No one likes to play that game.
Tip #2: Keep it simple.
Shorter sentences lead to a more pleasant reading experience. If you can keep your writing simple, it’ll be easier to understand and also more captivating.
Use adverbs sparingly as it makes the writing look crowded and redundant. Often you can get rid of adverbs just by using strong verbs. For example, instead of saying, “the rabbit ran away quickly,” use instead, “the rabbit dashed away.”
Remember this: “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
Tip #3: Know your audience.
Similar to understanding your market before you sell a product, you must know who you are writing for. When you identify your audience, you can better communicate with them and make connections to what they know.
This is not to say you should write for applause. But if you have a target audience, it’s easier to direct your writing. Always write with purpose and a clear goal.
Tip #4: Structure your writing.
To prevent a wordy mess, pay attention to the structure of your writing. If it’s an essay, make sure to have a powerful beginning and ending with each middle paragraph focused on a supporting point. If it’s an article or book, every section or chapter should be self-contained.
Structure provides clarity and gives the reader a better experience. Start with an outline of what you want to achieve in each section and this will give your writing a strong backbone.
Tip #5: Read and write regularly.
Words are the foundation of writing. The more you read, the more words you have in your tool box. Effective writers read constantly over a range of material. Expand your library and expose yourself to different types of writers and writing styles.
Also, get into the habit of writing something daily if you can. The best way to get over writer’s block is to put words on paper (or in modern times, words on a screen).
We hope you found these writing tips useful! Do you have any other tips for being an effective writer? Share them in the comments below!