Hey friends! I just had my husband snap this picture of me while I was working from my in-laws' house in yoga pants and a "strong to the core" tank. I brushed my hair at 5:00 this morning when I got up and have been going ever since.
If this sounds a little bit like your life, this blog post is for you! It's all about super easy ways to improve your writing, whether you own a small business, craft dozens of emails a day, or aspire to blog. Regardless of what you’re working on or why, words are important. So here are five tips to improve your wordsmithing that I’ve learned over the last few years. These are super easy to implement and require no sentence diagramming!
1. Read Aloud
If you’re only going to take my advice on one of these tips, this should be it. Never send something off without first closing your door and literally reading every word aloud. Reading aloud helps you catch dropped words, weird sentences, long sentences, grammatical mistakes, inconsistencies in argument, and so forth. This is THE most powerful tool in your writing toolbox, and it just takes an ounce of patience to make it a consistent practice.
2. Find a Second Pair of Eyes
We all make mistakes when we write. And we all fail to be as clear as we could be. Reading aloud will catch some shortcomings, but you also need a second pair of eyes – even an untrained pair of eyes – to catch mistakes that aren’t apparent to you. So, if you can, send your text to a friend or colleague to read before hitting “publish” or “send.”
3. Write, Rewrite and Rewrite Again
I like to think of a piece of writing as a beautiful tapestry that can be unraveled and rewoven a hundred different ways. Thoughts can be displayed in many combinations of words. Sentences can always be rewoven to make the threads tighter. So here’s a rule: your first draft is never going to be your best. It should always be reread and rewritten, with sentences shortened and grammar checked, before you consider it done.
4. Shorten Your Sentences
If a sentence can be two sentences, it should be. Long sentences are harder to read and harder to understand than short sentences. This is not to say you should never have long sentences – they serve a purpose – but, typically, short sentences make stronger writing.
5. Write Like You Speak
If you speak in big, flowery sentences that sound like they’ve emerged from Lord of the Rings, then of course, write that way. Otherwise, try to write like you speak. This means a conversational tone, simple sentences, and language people don’t have to Google to understand. The more you write like you speak, the more you sound like YOU. And the better you get at communicating your message.
Have anything to add to these? Let me know in the comment section. And good luck on your next project!