John Onyekachi 2 years ago

9 Important Keys To Help You Write Better

This article deals with some basic tools to enable you to write better whether as a professional or just one who writes for fun. The tools are simple and can be used by just anyone.

Recently, someone asked me how he could become a writer. According to him, he is passionate about writing but doesn’t know how to start. Have you been there before? Have you been trying to figure out how to write better articles and posts? Worry no more. I am here to help you solve this puzzle. I’ll show you nine very important secrets that have produced professionals out of amateur writers in this teaching. Every professional writer was once a novice.

Put these nine keys to work, and you will come back to thank me later. Amazingly, these nine keys are not only meant for amateur writers alone; even professionals still need them. Are you ready? Let’s get right into it.

KEY 1: START WRITING

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! I’m sure you weren’t expecting this to be the first key. Well, not only is it the first key to writing better, but it is also the most important key in this bunch. Let me ask you a question: how did you learn how to talk? Let me guess. You were enrolled in a talking school shortly after you were born, right? I mean, wasn’t that what happened? You had to perfect the art of talking before you started talking. You probably took everyone by surprise. Kudos! You are a superman! I don’t know about you, but I’ve watched other kids, and I’ve found that each of them learned how to talk by actually talking. I’m sure I learned how to talk the same way too.

From babbling to a few words, then phrases and sentences. And before you know it, the child has become fluent. These all resulted from consistent practice. What about walking? Did you have to wait until your legs were strong enough to carry you? Of course, you didn’t. You started making attempts. Many times you fell, but it didn’t deter you. You got up and tried again until you started walking well.

Ladies and gentlemen, the first step to writing better is to start writing. If you want to be a professional writer, then start writing today. Yes, you will write rubbish, and sometimes, you will be ashamed to even share what you have written. But don’t let it stop you. You are learning how to walk just like every child. Sometimes you will fall and even injure yourself. However, if you will keep at it, you will master it. To become a better writer, you have to start writing.

KEY 2: READ BOOKS AND ARTICLES

Anybody can write, but to be a professional writer, you have to be good or, let me say, a voracious reader. You can’t be a better writer if you don’t like reading. By reading after others, you not only acquire relevant knowledge in your niche, you also learn their style of communicating thoughts and ideas. How can you produce relevant content or knowledge without reading? How can you learn new things in your niche without doing research? A writer who does not like reading is not to be trusted, much the same way a Medical Doctor who is not constantly developing himself cannot be trusted. You develop yourself as a writer by reading good books and articles.

KEY 3: FOLLOW AND LEARN FROM PROFESSIONAL WRITERS

To produce the results of giants, you have to follow in the footsteps of giants. And to follow the footsteps of giants, you have to follow the giants. You can take up your skill by learning from other professionals in that particular field. When it has to do with writing, you can fast track your growth and strengthen your writing skill by following and learning from other professionals, particularly in your niche or genre. You can join writing groups on social media or blogging platforms for writers. You can follow other professional writers on platforms such as Facebook, Medium, Quora, etc.

By following and learning from other professionals, you learn other secrets that have made them better writers. You don’t have to be ashamed of learning from others. We are all connected to one another in some ways. Whatever I know presently, I have had to learn it from others, or at least someone contributed to the process.

KEY 4: PAY ATTENTION TO SYNTAX OR GRAMMAR

Syntax refers to a set of rules that govern how words are combined to form phrases and sentences. On the other hand, grammar refers to a system of rules and principles for speaking and writing a language. It is amazing that even though many of us were taught tenses, punctuations, and concord in school, some of us never really pay much attention to them in our spoken and written communications. You know, it’s very repulsive to read after some University graduates who should know better yet find their articles filled with grammatical or punctuation errors.

To write better, you have to pay attention to how you construct your phrases and sentences. Also, make deliberate efforts to study the rules of concord, tenses, and punctuations. Sometimes, these things take time to master, but if you are going to write as a professional, you have to pay attention to them.

KEY 5: USE WRITING AIDS

There are several writing aids, such as dictionaries, to help you in your writing. Things have become a lot easier in our time as a result of diverse advancements in science and technology. Today, there are apps specifically designed to help writers. These apps make writing easier, enjoyable, and faster. You can take advantage of them in your writing. As a rule, I write with my dictionary close by. I have to confirm to be sure that I am using the right words and in the right manner.

Besides MS word, I also write with Google docs and edit with Grammarly. These apps have an inbuilt dictionary to help check spelling and grammar errors. I also use a text-to-speech app to hear how my articles sound. Sometimes, it’s helpful to hear your article read out to you audibly. Ensure you properly proofread and edit your content before you share.

KEY 6: FIND YOUR NICHE

You must accept the fact that you can’t write about everything. There are niches or genres in which you are more effective than others. There are subjects that you can relate to more than others as a result of your job or exposure. It will greatly benefit you to find subjects or areas to which you are best suited. You are more effective and productive when your energies are properly channeled or focused. Don’t try to write on every topic. Find where you fit better and often write along that line. Find the topics or subjects you are passionate about and start writing along with that area of thought. I don’t write about everything or every topic. I don’t know everything about every topic, but I do know enough about the topics I choose to write on. I believe it’s wisdom to expend my energy mostly on the things I’m good at and passionate about.

KEY 7: WRITE IN SHORT PARAGRAPHS

To make your articles attractive and easy to read, ensure that they are not compounded into long, boring paragraphs. Break your points into short paragraphs with two sentences at most. It makes your articles clear and neat. It also makes it easier for your readers to read through. A task is always easier when it is broken down into smaller bits. It is easier to read through a long article with shorter paragraphs without even realizing it.

KEY 8: WRITE IN SIMPLE AND THE CORRECT ENGLISH

By all means, avoid ambiguities and complexities of all kinds. The simpler, the better. Write in simple and correct English that can be easily understood. Use simple sentences that convey the desired message without confusing your readers. You know, some people think that being a good writer is by using ‘big’ and unfamiliar words in their writings. But that’s not really the case. A good writer can effectively communicate his message in words. You see, in writing, you won’t be there to further explain your message to your readers. So, by all means, you must try to use words that your reader can easily understand without requiring further explanation. Don’t put your readers through the stress of constantly consulting their dictionaries just to get the point you are trying to make. You won’t hook them that way—the simpler, the better.

KEY 9: WRITE OFTEN

The last key in our bunch to help you become a better writer is to write often. Repetition is the law of deep and lasting impression. It is said that whatever you do consistently over a certain period of time naturally becomes a part of you. It is also said that practice makes perfect. This means that you have to constantly practice along with that line to be perfect at something. With respect to the thought above, you have to write often to be a better writer.

A writer writes. You can’t become a better writer by writing once in a while. You have to write often and consistently. Did you learn anything? What key stood out for you? I want to hear from you in the comment section.

©John Onyekachi,

Pastor, author, and writing coach.

Inspiring efficiency and productivity

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