Writing Isn't Supposed to be Easy: 7 Tips for Clearly Expressing Your Ideas In Writing
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Writing Isn't Supposed to be Easy: 7 Tips for Clearly Expressing Your Ideas In Writing

If you find writing difficult, you are not as far from writing well as you think!

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Writing Isn't Supposed to be Easy: 7 Tips for Clearly Expressing Your Ideas In Writing
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Most great writers do not think writing is easy. So if you find it difficult too, you are not as far from writing well as you think! Any great work requires great effort, even for people with natural abilities. Here are some friendly tips that I have found helpful in improving writing skills.

1) Find the environment that works best for you.

Inside or outside? Music or no music? At a desk or in a comfy chair? On a computer or in a notebook?

2) Don't revise as you write.

Do not refrain from writing what you think might sound bad. You may believe that you are making the process more efficient, but you are actually cutting off the creative flow of ideas in your brain. Instead, write the words that come to you. You can always change them later!

3) Practice.

Freewrite every day for ten minutes: write down all your thoughts in response to a question or topic without stopping. You'll find that after some time, you will be better able to express what you are trying to say. This is called improving your fluency.

4) Read great authors.

This is not to copy them but to get an understanding of what works well. Read Writing With Power by Peter Elbow (I based many of these tips on my experiences applying his teaching).

5) Don't be ashamed of your voice.

Run with it! It's best to balance between overly fancy and overly familiar language. But once you find your style, you don't have to worry and compare to other writers. Differences in writing styles do not mean that one is better or worse. All voices are valuable.

6) Stop staring.

If you're anything like me, you have stared at a blank page or computer screen for much longer than you ever intended. Here are some suggestions to deal with writers' block (although there is no foolproof formula):

-Switch to the old-fashioned way: pen and paper.

-Brainstorm possible options.

-Write down all and any ideas on the topic instead of looking for the perfect, refined words that you want to end up with. Pay no attention to the order of the ideas. Just let them come.

-Write down everything you're not trying to say. This helps clarify the ideas in your mind.

-Engage your body in some way (i.e., take a walk) and make a conscious effort to figure out what you want to say.

-Come back to your writing with a fresh mind after a day or two. I'm pretty sure the ideas will percolate in the back of your brain in the meantime.

7) BE CLEAR!

Don't make your reader work to understand you. If anyone ever tells me that I am a good writer, I don't usually take it to mean that I have some unique gift. I think about how frequently I practice writing and how hard I work with words to make them as clear and meaningful as possible. For instance, I'm prone to lengthy sentences, so I try to break them up or change the order of the phrases.

Above all, I always keep in mind the question: "Would my reader understand what I'm trying to say here? If not, what can I add, subtract, or fix?" Readers cannot see inside the writer's head to the intended meanings.

Clarity may be the most significant element of good writing.


I don't know much about what makes amazing writers – they probably have some sort of incredible talent – but I do know that it involves lots of practice and reading of other great writers.

I believe that anyone can be a decent, pleasant writer. The problem is that we often don't make the time to work on our skills. Like any craft, writing requires practice and persistence.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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