Writing isn’t a skill everyone is born with, but it is a skill everyone can learn. Sure, it takes time to write, a lot of red marks, and can often seem boring. But writing can be so much more. It is a great way to process your thoughts and learn new things. This was told to me by Pete Sherwood, senior copywriter at Gravitate, and it makes sense because when you write something you are required to research a bit, question it, and research some more.
If you are interested in something new while practicing your writing skills, here are a few writing techniques to help get you started.
1. Never start with a blank page
What I mean here is, never open your notebook and just expect to write something. Have a question in your head or a topic on the mind that you want to write about. This will inspire you enough to start writing down your thoughts and what you’ve learned and soon enough, you may have written a full article.
2. Examples are your friend
I once heard someone say, “God gave your eyes, so plagiarize.” I’m not sure said that but it stuck with me. Now, I am not saying you should plagiarize other authors work, but you can find examples of writing that you like and use the format as inspiration. Once you find a format you like, it will a bit easier to write your paper.
3. Keep it conversational
Writing in a conversational tone is great for writing articles and blogs. Why? Because since around 2013 when Google updated their algorithm, articles and blogs started ranking for many long-tail search terms. Also, with the future of search trending towards voice search, your conversational articles and blogs may include the answer to the exact question someone is asking Google.
4. Quick to the point
Being direct can be tough in person, but when you’re writing being direct is best. Don’t beat around the bush and write something that might confuse people. Get to the point and make it quick. This way your message is clear, precise, and easily understood.
5. Make someone smile or piss someone off
Great writers know how to spark emotions. This is because emotions are what make people buy your book, read more of your article, or share your content with their friends. Emotions can be elicited by being blunt with your beliefs or opinions, or by providing an answer to a problem someone has been looking to solve for a while (or at least a few different Google searches). Regardless, be passionate about whatever you write about. So passionate your audiences can feel it.
6. Take a break
Most of the time, writing is tough. Sure, there are times where it feels like you can’t get your brain and fingers to stop. But at anytime you feel you can’t write anymore or you think you’re finished, take a break. Go on a walk, clear your mind, and forget everything you’ve written. This way, when you revisit your piece, it is like you’re looking at it with a fresh set of eyes making it easy to identify typos or confusing sentences.
7. Spellcheck and editing tips
Spellcheckers are great but they don’t catch everything. If you have the option, I recommend sending your piece to a friend or a professional editor to read. They will be able to identify confusing sentences or typos faster than you. But if you don’t have the luxury of a professional editor or you’re like Bon Jovi around Christmas (…My baby’s gone, I have no friends, to wish me Christmas, once again…) try online tools like Grammarly or any free spell checker to provide recommendations and highlight possible problems.
Hopefully, these seven writing techniques will help you with your future pieces. If they don’t, here is the most important technique of all. Clear your mind and eat some food. You’re not going to be able to write when you’re hungry or your mind is elsewhere.
Now, you’re probably want to call me out saying, “Hey, that is eight writing techniques and your title only says seven”. If you’re going to do this, please do this on social media while sharing my article with your friends. That way we can respond and explain why.