So you’ve been wanting to write—for your blog, for your company, for industry publications, or maybe just for fun. But you’re not sure where to get started. Or maybe you’ve never even considered writing (or never really liked it to begin with), but you’re quickly realizing that you’re going to have to do it (and do it well) for your career.
As with anything, writing is much less about being born with an innate “talent,” and much more about getting better with practice. So here are a few fun and simple ways to start incorporating writing into your everyday life—and get better at it in no time.
1. Look Around
Many writers cling tightly to the idea of a “muse,” a divine inspiration that hits when she fancies and provides you with the exalted insight for your most inspired piece.
2. Find Your Space
How and where do you write best? For some people, it’s peace and quiet, while others need music or the chaotic hubbub of co-workers milling about. And most find that different places work for different types of writing:
3. Write Now, Edit Later
Many times, your own worst critic—in writing and in life—is you. So, when you’re writing, it’s really important not to judge what you write down, at least at first. Even experienced writers don’t often crank out a perfect first draft, so setting your expectations too high from the outset is unrealistic (not to mention discouraging).
4. Read it Out Loud
This tip is twofold. First, in most cases, you should write like you talk. Even if you tend to use a casual tone, that’s OK—it will help you sound more realistic and understandable to your readers. Try recording yourself talking for two minutes, then transcribing it. You can correct obvious mistakes later (and edit out the “likes” and “ums”!), but writing that reflects the way you speak often showcases the most authentic version of yourself.
5. Just Write
If your goal is to truly improve, the more you do it, the better. There are so many ways to get words onto paper (or onto the screen)—so take advantage of these opportunities to hone your skills. Compose well-crafted emails and clever tweets, start a personal blog, or ask for more writing projects at work.