3 simple ways to become a better writer

By Maria Davison

From Flickr user Ben Grey
Writing is at the heart of everything we do as journalists and communicators, and being a good writer is ever important, no matter what your dream job may be. I spend so much time trying to understand the best journalistic applications for Snapchat and Periscope, that I forget to focus on my writing. Writing was the reason I got into journalism in the first place, and I hope to keep those skills up. As we head into the summer when you have a little time (between working hard at that fabulous summer internship and laying by the pool), here are some ways you can brush up on your writing skills and make sure they’re always sharp. This advice is hardly anything new, but with a few new resources, these tips can take your writing to the next level.

Write every day
We all know the truism “practice makes perfect,” and when it came to childhood piano practice, it’s the most loathed phrase in the book. But when it comes to putting words on paper, it couldn’t be more true. It doesn’t matter if it’s longhand in a notebook or pristine final drafts published on your personal blog, it will all make you a better writer. And if you don’t know where to start, or what to write about, here are a few resources to help you get started:

750 Words is a online private journal that encourages you to write 750 words daily, encouraging you with prizes along the way.

One Page Per Day is built for people trying to finish a book, encouraging them to write a page a day.

Byword is a text-editing app for iPhone and iPad, allowing you to write on the go.

Read everything you can. Read fiction, read great journalism, read blogs. Read to learn something from what you’re reading. And if you don’t know what to read, the Columbia Journalism Review’s “Reading List for Future Journalists” isn't a bad place to start. 

Listen to the advice of great writers
Every writer is different, and not every piece of advice will change your writing for the better. But sometimes other writers' hints can help along the way. Like this blog, which is entirely about how to be specific in your writing or this William Zissner’s advice on Poynter. 

Have any other advice for people who want to improve their writing? Share in the comments below.

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