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5 Nifty Ways You Can Easily Improve Your Writing

Learning is a continuous process; I know I keep trying to work on my writing skills. Today, I bring to you 5 nifty ways you can easily improve your writing based on what I learned from various writing classes as well as what I discovered over time.

(and note to self: I need to continue to use these to improve mine as well!)

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5 Nifty Ways You Can Easily Improve Your Writing

Online Tools

There are tons of online tools that can help with our writing, in so many ways. There are a few tools I use more than others and I have listed them below. Note that I am yet to consistently use them; because I am like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, running late and playing catch up on posting my content! And there is a tool for that as well, which I learned about now!!

Hemingway

I am sure at least a few of you have heard of this or use it already. But I needed to put it out there, just because! While I do not use the Hemingway App always, I do use it often enough, and this tool is useful to avoid long-drawn-out sentences such as this one! And I never realized how often I used words I did not need to, until I used this tool.

Yoast SEO’s Readability Analysis

While this one applies only if you are writing within a medium where you can use this tool, I find it super useful. It gives me a quick overview of my writing and helps me make improvements right away. And I have to admit that the analysis update messages are truly encouraging! It is always great to hear a ‘Well done!’

OneLook Reverse Dictionary and Thesaurus

I often find myself looking for synonyms; and while I do find myself typing ‘great synonym’ on my browser bar to check what google returns, I love what OneLook offers. Synonyms are classified by parts of speech so you could pick and choose based on what you really want. If you are struggling for a word but know its definition, you can enter that in OneLook and get your answer!

And the rest

Of course, I use Grammarly (every now and then) and it helps me everytime I use it. I used Evernote for a bit and enjoyed using it (the kids use it for their schoolwork regularly and it definitely helps them) but I stopped simply because I found myself putting all my notes on Google Sheets most often.

Writing Techniques

Freewriting

While I had known about this for a while, I had not applied it actively until I joined a fiction writing class less than a year ago. And in a weird way, freewriting needs focus.

What does freewriting mean?

Freewriting means that you write nonstop on a chosen topic(or none at all) for sometime (predetermined, if you wish) — without editing, pressuring yourself, or racing — but just putting every thought onto the page. When you are done, look it over. Most likely, you will find something(s) you like. Grow that into something more.

It took me a while to actually freewrite because of my tendency to autocorrect my mistakes. But when I finally got the hang of it, I surprised myself!

Tips to help the freewrite process:

Use A Timer: Push past your internal critic using a time-pressure technique. Set a timer (start small if you wish – 4 minutes maybe) and write without pausing. You can slowly increase this time as you get comfortable with freewriting.

Inspiration/Prompts: If you already have something you are working on, that’s great. If not, there are so many sources to draw inspiration from! Comic books, picture books, photographs, other stories, daily prompts from apps and websites (check out a list included here at StoryADay) and events occurring with and around you as well as what you read in the news. The list is endless…

Try Something Different

If you most often write informative pieces, then try your hand (and mind) at writing short stories or poems or a biography or a joke. I need to try these last two suggestions myself! Shifting your writing genre will help sharpen those brain cells we don’t use often, and lend to your overall writing skills.

Classic Writing Tools!

Set aside the devices you use and pick up the classics – paper and pen (or pencil). The best part about putting your thoughts on paper is it is definitely freer of distractions than a device. And we can pretty it up too so much more easily!

I have journals and notebooks of all sizes; pocket sized ones that fit in my jacket pocket, small notebooks for my purse, cute journals and plain ones, larger notebooks as well. And a variety of pens (gel, roller, etc) and pencils, even crayons within easy access. So I can write (and doodle) when the mood strikes.

Books

Books are a wonderful resource to help with anything, and improving our writing skills is no different. They can inspire and instruct, encourage and enrich, and make the learning process easy and fun. Here are a few of the books I love and refer to often.

And I know that one way or the other, each of these books will help improve your writing.

Zen in the Art of Writing

Title: Zen in the Art of Writing
Author: Ray Bradbury
Age-Range: High school and older

Goodreads ||  Book Depository ||
Barnes and Noble || 
IndieBound

Quantity gives experience. From experience alone can quality come.” says Ray Bradbury. In essence, practice makes perfect. This book is full of tips and advice on the creative spark, and more. One of those I keep going back to every once in a while.

Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly

Title: Writing Magic
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Age-Range: Middle grade and older

Goodreads ||  Book Depository || Target ||
Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

A book I glanced at sometime ago but have since added to my read-now list. From the author of Ella Enchanted comes a magical book on writing. And it has a companion book titled Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink that I will be looking at soon.

Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
Why We Write

Title: Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
Author: Meredith Maran
Age-Range: High school and older

Goodreads || Book Depository
Target|| Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

This book inspired me to both read more and write more. So for all of you who enjoy reading and/or writing, this book is waiting to be read – by you!

Writing Down the Bones

Title: Writing Down the Bones
Author: Natalie Goldberg
Age-Range: Hign school and older

Goodreads ||  Book Depository || Target ||
Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

This is another book on my bookshelf that I find myself opening many times. Inspiration, advice, encouragement, and tips to get you writing better and more.

Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

Title: Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
Author: Lisa Cron
Age-Range: High school and older

Goodreads || Book Depository || Target ||
Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

This was the required reading for one of the classes I took. And it truly opened my eyes and my mind to whole new avenues. I looked at writing and reading with a fresh pair of eyes; and it made the tough art (and science) of writing fiction somewhat easier for me. I still have some ways to go and so glad I have books like this to fall back on.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Title: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Author: Anne Lammott
Age-Range: High school and older

Goodreads ||  Book Depository || Target ||
Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

Of course I had to include this one as well. I started reading this book when I first read about it a few years ago. Then again, during my writing class. And now, I have it on my side table always.

Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words

Title: Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words
Author: Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge
Age-Range: High school and older

Goodreads ||  Book Depository || Target ||
Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

I am crazy enough about poems to want to read this now; and am reading it with along the any other books I started last week!

Don’t Forget to Write (series for young writers, and older too)

Title: Don’t Forget to Write – Series
Author: Jennifer Traig et al.
Age-Range: Various

Goodreads ||  Book Depository || Target ||
Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

I discovered this series recently and plan to tackle them, one at a time, starting from those for the youngest writers.

Take Ten for Writers: 1000 Writing Exercises to Build Momentum in Just 10 Minutes a Day

Title: Take Ten for Writers: 1000 Writing Exercises to Build Momentum in Just 10 Minutes a Day
Author: Bonnie Neubauer
Age-Range: Teen and older

Goodreads ||  Book Depository ||  IndieBound

Boy, was I glad that we had this book from the library as long as we did due to the pandemic! We spent many ’10 minutes’ during the summer and earlier picking prompts at random from the book and writing for 10 minutes. This is a book perfect for practicing freewriters too! And the kids and I astonished each other frequently with this totally fun exercise we worked on together – separately.

If you want more cool reads about words and language, here is a list I compiled recently – 10 Books for People Who Love Words and Language

And the Rest

These are simply general tips that help me when I do follow them.

  • Get feedback. When I ask others for honest feedback, it helps. While tools will help improve your writing, a reader’s comments offer a value unlike any other.
  • Ensure a distraction free and comfortable working space, that works best for you. It could be your favorite couch or the Adirondack in the backyard or under a tree somewhere.

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And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, what is the takeaway for you from this post on how to improve your writing? Do you have any specific tips and tricks you can share about how to improve your writing? Do let me know…

25 thoughts on “5 Nifty Ways You Can Easily Improve Your Writing

  1. I use a timer for writing. I’m working on another book right now and I set a timer for 45 minutes then type my little heart out. It’s not Hemingway, but it’s my process lol. I think it works pretty well.

  2. I always adore and learn several things from your posts. I had no knowledge of OneLook Reverse Dictionary and Thesaurus but plan to wear it out. I frequently am grappling for the words I want to use.

  3. Awesome tips and Toast is my friend! I’ve also use photos to get ideas many times, there are many great stories waiting to be writing from them. Free writing sounds very interesting but in some ways I’m doing that without realizing it. Once I get writing I just keep going. When I proofread it I make my corrections. Thanks for sharing all these super tips!

  4. Those are such good tips and resources. I should use the one for making sure you don’t use more words than you should. I am wordy! But I also would love to take a look at the Zen/Art of Writing book. I think I might have used one of his books for homeschooling.

    1. Thanks for guide, even I have been writing for five years as a blogger and writer but still I find it difficult to go with the glow. These book seem quite interesting, I’ll check them out.

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