Writing is hard work
This is so true, isn't it? Most of us hate writing. Well, most of us hate writing about things we don't want to write about. This is why we tend to despise school projects, isn't it? Just essay after essay about the most random things and concepts somebody can think of! I used to wonder what type of person could sit there and come up with so many lame essay prompts - after a few years, I started to really get impressed with their output. So, whoever you are, know that you are respected, even though many have had their dreams crushed by work.
Jokes aside, in business, school, or whatever, writing is necessary, at the end of the day. But, how do you write well when you've spent so many years cultivating a deep hatred for it? Here are 5 tricks that I've used over the years to improve from a D- writer to a C+ writer, no matter the topic.
1) Write Like You Talk.
This is such an easy thing to implement, but so many people don't use it. Think about your favorite author. What do you like about their books? A lot of times, it's the fact that you can read it and it's almost conversational - you don't have to work hard at understanding it because you can almost hear it in your head. This is one of the main components of good writing - it's conversational! So, the next time you need to write something, let your voice come out! You can even talk it out as you go. The more you do it, the easier it will become, and the more you'll start to enjoy interacting with different subjects because you're approaching them differently - no longer like a robot, but like a human. Like you.
2) WRITE TO BE READ.
Writing to be read means to write with your target audience in mind. Know who you're writing to! Didn't you hate it when middle school textbooks read like college textbooks? The problem was that the author either didn't know their audience or didn't care about their audience. Don't make the same mistake. Our writing isn't meant for everybody - so beforehand, think about your audience and get in their head. Once you're there, write in a way that would be enjoyable to them and understandable for them.
3) WRITE What You Like.
This sounds kind of confusing because you're probably thinking, "Didn't he just say you can use these tips to do better when writing about any subject?" The answer to your question is "Yes!" Remember this:
Writing about a certain subject doesn't mean you can't write about whatever you want in regards to that subject.
So, if you're writing about ice cream and you hate ice cream, write about all the reasons why ice cream is overhyped! If you're writing about your favorite subject in school and you hate them all, then write about the one you hate the least and why that is! Write what you like and your passion in that writing will be what's compelling to people.
4) WRITE For A Purpose.
Write with a goal in mind. Don't you just hate when you're reading something and you get the sense that the author just likes hearing himself talk? My pet peeve is when I'm reading something and the author never lands the plane. It's so anticlimactic! Don't be that guy. Instead, write for a purpose - why should anyone care about what you're writing? If you write what you like (Trick #3), then you'll be able to answer that question.
5) WRITE Often.
The best way to become a better writer is write often. It also helps to read often. Don't waste your time writing about stuff that you don't like. And if you have to write about something you don't like, then write about it in a way that you do like! There's freedom in this, if you haven't realized that by now.
The more you write, the more you'll come to enjoy it once you get better at expressing your thoughts. So, if you apply Tricks #1-4, you'll most likely end up applying Trick #5. Why? Because people tend to like things more once they realize they can get good at it. All that being said, you know what to do: get out there and start writing! A whole new world awaits.
Matt with Avalon Live