How can you make your words feel like music to the ears?
Writing is not a skill; it’s an art- one you can master with hard work, practice and getting apprenticeship under a master. Are you confused by the last part? Don’t be. I’ll break the whole process down into chunks that you’ll be able to understand and remember for a long time to come.
Why is it imperative that you work on your writing skills?
First of all, you need to understand why it is so important that you improve your writing. Commercial writing content is focused on a native English audience mostly. This means that your subpar grammar, poor sentence structure and incorrect choice of vocabulary shall not only irritate the reader but shall also sink your writing ship fast.
First step: Become an avid reader
Reading can improve your writing faster than any other technique. How? It is because reading puts your mind on the right track. You pick up new words, phrases and writing patterns and your mind files them away for later use. Reading blogs, newspapers, online articles and other web content shall enhance your scope. You’ll get to know what readers look for in an article and you can present your ideas logically and clearly.
Once you start reading, you’ll find that all good articles are imaginative. Your mind shall form pictures based on their words. It is because a good writer does not put words on paper; he creates pictures.
1. The man was angry and his blood pressure was rising fast.
2. The man was turning red and steam was rising from his ears.
In the second sentence, a picture forms in your mind and captures your attention.
Second step: Write daily
You all have these wonderful word processors installed on your computers, right. Well, use them and write one essay, paragraph or an article daily. The processor shall point out most of the grammar mistakes. Correct them and learn how to avoid them in future.
Third step: Improve your grammar
Buy a good grammar book. Try to get one that has solved answers at the back. There are many good ones available. Choose the one that offers simple explanations and helps you understand how to use the correct form of verb, noun, tenses and adjectives correctly in your sentences. Do one exercise daily and highlight your common and repetitive mistakes so that you don’t do them again.
A smart person is not the one who does not make any mistakes. He just doesn’t repeat them.
A great book on this subject is High school English Grammar and composition by Wren and Martin. Find it on the Amazon. Seriously, this book is awesome!
Watch English movies with the subtitles turned on.
This is possibly the best and the most fun way of improving your English. How? Well, when you have the subtitles on; you get to link pictures with words and it can be a great way to improve grammar and simple language skills. However, try to watch good ones. I don’t want you to corrupt your language by picking up foul words from movies. That would be a nightmare.
Fourth step: Keep on practicing
You won’t notice the improvements straight away. This is a gradual process and you need to keep on going and never stop or be disappointed. The baby steps that you take every day shall put you one-step closer to becoming a great writer.
Don’t expect to become Shakespeare or Dickens within a week of doing all these things because that won’t happen. Just tackle one thing at a time and you’ll definitely get there in your own time.
One last thing, there’s a saying that goes like this:
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. (The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho)
I don’t mean to impress you with high and mighty words. My point is, once you decide to achieve something; Allah shall provide you with countless opportunities to get there. Help shall come from unexpected venues. You will get good teachers to help you through this process.
Don’t be a hard head. Reach out your hand to accept favors that are sent your way. Hold on tight and continue working honestly and you shall be blessed far and beyond your expectations.
I have barely scratched the surface of this lifelong learning process. There are many steps that follow these. I shall talk more about them some other time. Till then focus on these and tell us if they have helped you some or not.
We’ll look forward to your feedback- complaints and criticism is most welcome too. They help us improve and revise our work as well.