In our last installment, we dealt with short-term writing:  immediate needs that need to be addressed and how to rise to the occasion to complete them. But, people often ask me how they can improve their writing skills overall.  Making your writing clearer and stronger is an investment in your long-term communication skills and in your business.  Here are a few things you can do to improve yourself as a writer.

  1. READ. Emails, press releases, newsletters, articles and blogs are easily accessed.  Find examples of the type of writing you need to produce and, when you like one, ask yourself why. Is it the tone, the style, the length, use of examples, references to websites? Seek out the type of writing you enjoy reading and try to imitate it.  By the same token, when you find writing you don’t enjoy, take note and don’t make the same mistakes.
  2. RE-READ. It’s been mentioned several times in this blog but proofing your own work is essential to being a better writer.  Reading your own work, using spell check, reading out loud, allowing someone else to read - these are all methods to make your writing stronger.  Asking a colleague for constructive criticism on your writing may also help you improve.
  3. REPEAT. Keep writing.  Once you stop, it is hard to start up again so keep it going. Even if you aren’t actively publishing, try to take the time to write a blog entry about your work or an email summarizing some of your successes for the week or month.  Even if you don’t use this type of piece right away, it’s a wonderful arsenal to have.