11 Writing Tips To Improve Your Writing Now

A sharpened red pencil

Writing plays a significant role in our lives, revealing a lot about us both professionally and personally. That’s why dedicating time to improving your writing skills is so crucial.

So whether you’re a copywriter, budding novelist or simply want to improve your communication skills, here are some writing tips to advance your skills. 

1. Develop A Writing Habit

Creating a daily writing habit is crucial for developing into a skilled writer. Select a time you’ll write each day, make sure your writing space is clear and set a timer for 15 minutes to write without any distractions. This practice trains your subconscious to enter the writing zone, and over time, you’ll find yourself writing more reliably and effortlessly. 

Now this is important. When you’re developing your writing habit—don’t prescribe to yourself what you think you should do. Observe what you already do: what time your currently write; when you’re already most productive. Then, based on that observation, build your writing habit.

The grand fantasies that we tell ourselves such as, ‘I’ll get up at 5am tomorrow, go on a run and write the entire landing page for my client in 2 hours’ don’t work. But small, achievable steps will strengthen your writing muscles. 

A habit tracker chart that has some dates ticked already.

2. Pick Up Your Pen In The Morning

Numerous studies have shown a “temporal affective pattern” where people tend to be more energized and positive in the morning. This energy then dips in the afternoon before rebounding in the evening. 

Taking advantage of this natural rhythm can help you produce higher-quality work. After a good night’s sleep, you’re less prone to making writing errors and, assuming you’ve had a good night’s sleep, your mind is clearer, sharper and more creative. 

So experiment with morning writing sessions to see if they support your best writing. Not to mention, the power of looking at your work with fresh morning eyes, cannot be understated. 

3. Let Go Of Perfectionism 

You can’t edit a blank page. First drafts are meant to be rough – was Rome built in a day? 

Nothing holds a writer back more than the belief that everything they write must be a masterpiece. It’s a paralyzing thought that can make even typing a single sentence feel like an impossible task. At the start of your copywriting, story or formal letter, just get your ideas down on paper and worry about polishing them later.

Some days, words will flow out of your fingers effortlessly. On other days, you’ll stare at the blinking cursor and struggle to write a single paragraph. And that’s okay. Embrace the variability as part of the creative journey. Allow yourself the freedom to write imperfectly.

As author John Bytheway wisely said, “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, life’s hard. So remember that writing is a process of refinement. Each draft brings you closer to your best work. Celebrate your small victories and focus on progress rather than perfection.

A woman sitting at a desk with perfectly organised pens, books, files and folders.

4. Carry a Notebook

Inspiration can strike at the most unexpected times—while you’re waiting in line for coffee, taking a walk, or even in the middle of the night. Be prepared to capture these fleeting ideas by always carrying a notebook or using a note-taking app on your phone.You never know when these small notes will become the foundation of your next big project.

Many writers renowned for their work, including Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Joan Didion, John Steinbeck, and Damon Knight, kept notebooks to gather their ideas and navigate through creative ruts. They understood the value of capturing inspiration, and now, so do you.

So, embrace the habit of capturing your ideas no matter where you go. The next time you sit down to write, you’ll be thankful for having a stash of ideas at your fingertips. 

5. Create Outlines

Creating an outline can be a game-changer for your writing. It helps organize your thoughts and ensures your work has a clear, logical structure from start to finish. Think of it as the backbone of your piece, providing support and direction.

Start by jotting down the main points you want to cover. Then, break these down into smaller, manageable sections. This visual roadmap not only keeps you focused but also makes it easier to spot gaps or redundancies in your content early on.

Taking a few minutes to map out your ideas will ultimately make you a better writer, whether it’s creative writing or formal communication because it gives your writing a clear coherence. 

Remember, it doesn’t have to a linear process too. It could be mind maps, charts or any way that gives your writing clarity. The goal is to create a framework that guides you as you write, making the process smoother and more efficient.

A person drawing a diagram on a clipboard.

6. Try Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are fantastic tools to spark your creativity and overcome writer’s block. Whether you’re using picture prompts, sentence starters or character questions, make sure that you don’t worry about the quality of your writing at first; just start writing and see where the prompt takes you. The goal is to explore new ideas and avenues, not to write your final draft. You can then keep these ideas aside and transfer your favourites into your work. 

Additionally, by responding to a prompt, you might uncover aspects of your story or a character backstory you hadn’t considered before. They can add depth and richness to your writing, giving the impression to the reader that the author has thought through every detail of their world. 

So, make experimenting with prompts a regular part of your writing routine. It’s a fun and effective way to keep your creative juices flowing and to continually challenge yourself as a writer.

7. Be A Life-Long Learner

Successful writers are lifelong learners, constantly seeking ways to improve and grow. They read books on writing, attend workshops and never hesitate to seek advice from their peers. 

If you don’t believe me, take it from Stephen King in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. King emphasises the importance of learning for writers: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” 

So dedicate time to study different writing techniques, read from a variety of genres, and stay open to feedback. Engage with the writing community, whether through online forums, local writing groups, or social media. Doing so will continue to evolve your writing. 

A man sitting at his computer desk surrounded by brain images and icons that represent information.

8. Use Active Voice

Choosing the right voice can drastically improve your writing. The best choice in most cases is active voice where the subject directly connects with the action. Let’s take a look at the example below using different voices. 

Passive voice: ‘The project was approved by the manager’

Active voice: ‘The manager approved the project’

Do you see how the second sentence is more straightforward and powerful? That’s because, in active voice, the subject performs the verb’s action, which makes sentences more dynamic and concise.

Take care with adverbs too. Often, using a strong verb conveys the same meaning more precisely. For example, instead of writing, ‘She quickly ran to the store’, you could write ‘She dashed to the store’. 

So choose the right voice and be concise and purposeful with your word choice, it will make your writing more effective and easier to read.

9. Change Your Attitude on a Writer’s Block 

Writer’s block is a rite of passage for all successful writers. Yes, it can be a very frustrating obstacle, but there are effective strategies to overcome it.

Too often, writers let these periods of inactivity get the best of them. They think to themselves, ‘what’s wrong with me?’, ‘why can all other authors write well but I can’t?’. Before your mind tells you any more lies, remember this: There’s nothing wrong with you. Writer’s block is simply a way for your brain to communicate that it needs a break and a little nourishment, be that inspiration, a clearer headspace, or simply nutrition!

So take a break by engaging in another creative activity, get some fresh air, or, if your brain is really in a rut, take a cold shower, it’s like hitting a reset button. 

When you start writing again, remember, the key is to get back into the writing flow. So it doesn’t matter what you write next, it just matters that you’ve taken a step towards your goal. As Mark Twain said, ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started’. 

A pathway through a forest next to a colourful collection of pain splashes and finally a shower with running water.

10. Read Aloud

Reading your work aloud is crucial before you submit any piece of work. It helps you identify awkward phrasing, grammatical errors, and clunky sentence structures that you might miss when reading silently. If you stumble over a sentence, it’s a clear sign that it needs revision.

By hearing your words, you can also gauge the flow and rhythm of your writing and make edits to ensure that your writing sounds natural and engaging to your readers. 

So, make sure that reading aloud is a part of your editing process. It forces you to slow down and pay attention to each word, making it easier to spot mistakes.

11. Proofread Diligently

Writers, freelancers, and professionals alike should take the time to review their work meticulously because mistakes undermine your credibility and make it harder for readers or colleagues to take you seriously. 

Consider using tools like Grammarly to catch mistakes you might overlook. Automated tools can help identify grammar issues, punctuation errors, and unnecessary filler words. 

In addition to automated tools, have others review your work too. Fresh eyes can spot mistakes and awkward phrasing that you might miss. This extra step ensures that your writing is polished and free of errors, enhancing your reliability and professionalism.

Honing your writing takes dedication and practice, but diligent reviewing is a crucial part of the process. It doesn’t matter if you work as a freelance writer or send emails at work, the same principle applies – your writing represents you, so make it the best it can be.

A looking glass held over a piece of paper scanning for errors.

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