How to Improve Your Writing Skills

By Siew Ching

No, it doesn’t involve asking ChatGPT to rewrite your copy…

An important skill to have at work is one that’s often overlooked. And that’s your writing skill. Think about it – everything you do at work involves some form of writing, whether it is composing an email to your boss or writing a persuasive proposal for a client.

Being a good writer doesn’t just mean having the skill to string words together. When you want to excel at your writing skills, it means being able to convey your message effectively and also persuading others to agree with you through words!

A lot of people dread writing – and that’s simply because they can’t do it well. Don’t let that be you! With some exercise and tips, you can level up your writing skill to give you a boost in the communication area. Here are some ideas to try right now:

#1 Write every day
You know what they say, the more you do something, the easier it becomes. Same goes for writing. Get yourself a journal and write in it either first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. Write about anything at all – a story, a summary of your day, some reflection. The idea is to just write and get used to expressing yourself through words.

#2 Read other people’s writing
Learn by example – whether it is your CEO’s email or the latest bestseller, get your hands on good writing and learn how others convey their messages in the best way possible. If you want to keep it just work related, learn from your colleagues who have their writing down pat. Get some tips from them and pay attention to how they are using words to express themselves.

#3 Write. Edit. Repeat
Part of being a good writer is knowing how to look through what you’ve written in the first place to make it better. Never underestimate the importance of proofreading what you’ve written. Error after error in your writing takes the attention away from your message, and truth be told, it can be pretty annoying to read an email, memo or report that’s filled with grammar and spelling mistakes. The first key to being a good writer? Spot your mistakes and learn how not to make them anymore.

#4 Know the basic principles of writing
Be clear and succinct. Understand the grammar rules. Use the right words (if you don’t know, look it up in your dictionary!). Don’t rely too much yet don’t rely too little. Stick to necessary descriptive phrases and don’t ramble. Do a simple search online for the basics and you’ll find plenty of tips!

#5 Experiment with word choice
Ever wonder how some people have an arsenal of words to describe that one thing in their email? Ever heard of a thesaurus? When composing emails or writing reports, a thesaurus is your friend. Use it. One of the great joys of writing is playing around with words to perfectly capture your thoughts. Find new ways to express yourself – this is perfect to improve your writing skills in how to express yourself better and more accurately. Not to mention, using words that are outside of your regular usage makes you sound more professional.

#6 Consider everything you write as a story
What do all stories have in common? A beginning, middle and end. Even your emails follow that same structure – a greeting as your beginning, the reason why you’re writing the email as the middle, and what you hope to resolve as your end. At the same time, all stories are engaging so do the same with whatever you’re writing! Think of your audience, how you would like to convey the message to your audience (which is important because you can opt for a more casual tone if it is to your colleagues but stick to a professional tone if writing to management and clients). Implement some story-telling techniques – engage your readers with an interesting opening and keep them wanting more by keeping your writing on an upbeat note and not dull. Try it!

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash.

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