We all seem to spend a lot of time writing in this high-tech age. We text, tweet, update our Facebook posts and comment on articles. However, when we do this we often abbreviate our words, shorten our sentences and use emoji. We’re writing all the time, but not always very well.
Being able to write well is necessary both at the workplace and in the classroom. If you can write well you can usually think through problems and get your messages and ideas across to others clearly. People are also less likely to misunderstand you.
Improving your writing skills will help you when you’re writing your resume and selection criteria when applying for jobs. You have probably noticed that ‘good communication skills’ are a requirement of many jobs; improving your writing skills will make you feel more confident about your communication skills.
Writing well will help you when completing reports for work or going for a promotion. You will be able to adapt your writing style to communicate effectively with different audiences whether you’re writing an essay for school, an article for a local paper or a Facebook post for an organisation you work for.
Writing well takes time and lots of practice, it is not a skill that you’re born with. The following steps will help you polish up on your writing skills in order for you to succeed in whatever you choose to do.
Read every day and read a variety of styles. By reading a mix of newspapers, magazines, novels, fiction, non-fiction, short stories and blogs you will be exposed to a wide range of writing styles that you can use as examples if you need to write something similar. Reading a variety of different styles will help you expand your vocabulary, develop your ideas and improve your grammar.
Keep a journal and write in it daily. You don’t have to use a pen and paper; you could use your phone, computer or a tablet. Keeping a journal will help you gather your thoughts and gives you time to practice and improve your writing techniques. If you’re unsure of the spelling of a word or whether one of your sentences makes sense, use a dictionary, ask someone else or google it! There are a number of spelling and grammar checking websites such as Grammarly (which claims to pick up on grammar errors that Microsoft Word often misses) which you can use for free.
Leave enough time to go back and re-read what you’ve written, you’re likely to miss errors if you’ve been staring at it for too long. If you are able to, get someone else to have a read through as well; they can bring a different perspective to your writing and could also offer you some useful tips and may pick up on an error that you’ve overlooked!
Remember, the ability to write well is not something you’re born with, it is something that you learn with lots of practice. Find a Learn Local organisation near you today to start your journey towards writing well http://learnlocal.org.au/wycl/read-and-write/