7 Ways to Improve Your Writing Overnight
Have you ever considered writing a book, but thought "I'm not a very good writer?" Well, no matter how bad (or good) your writing is today, it’s possible to improve it overnight. Here are seven quick “tricks” that can improve the very next piece you write.
1. Know your reader.
This means more than knowing a few demographics (how old they are, their average income, etc.). To know your readers means you understand their fears, frustrations, and aspirations. Writing from the reader’s perspective will dramatically change the way you write.
2. Know your objective.
Every piece you write (blog post, press release, video script, or anything else) must have only one objective. I call this objective the Most Wanted Result, or “MWR.” Knowing your MWR forces you to write with crystal-clear focus.
3. Use short words.
To persuade, you must be easy to understand. Using short words is one of the best ways to do this. Don’t show off how many big words you know.
4. Use short sentences.
Your thoughts come across more clearly in compact sentences. An added bonus: short sentences prevent you from confusing your readers.
5. Use short paragraphs.
Imagine you come to a webpage filled with a large block of text. There are no paragraph breaks. Are you likely to read it? Most people would say no. Make your writing skimmable, scannable, and scrollable. Use short paragraphs.
6. Use active language.
Active language is vigorous and interesting. Passive language is boring. How do you know which is which? In an active sentence, the subject is doing the acting: “Bob fixes cars.” In a passive sentence, the target of the action becomes the subject of the sentence. For instance, instead of saying, “Bob fixes cars,” I might say, “The cars are fixed by Bob.”
Passive language presents your idea poorly. It feels “backwards.” It’s also more difficult for many readers to understand. Write with power. Use active language.
7. Write recklessly, re-write ruthlessly.
When you write your first draft, it’s okay if it’s awful. In other words, right recklessly. After you have your first draft on paper (or hard drive), filled with power and energy, you can clean up any “messes” you might’ve made. Be ruthless when you re-write.
Start writing and see where it leads you. If want to take your business skills to another realm, write a book. We can help you.