A popular quote by Richard Bach says, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” In today’s world, there is no gainsaying the fact that writing is a necessary skill for survival. Not only is it a vital method of communication, it is a tool that can take individuals far above their peers. Owing to the advancement in technology – the internet, the demand for writing is on the rise. As such, if one of your new year’s goals is to advance your writing skills, then you have made the right decision. Below are some of the best ways to hone your skills:

1. Pick a Niche: Writing covers a myriad of areas. They range from business, to fiction, to screenwriting, storytelling, professional writing and so much more, all having different rules that guide them. For example, the rules that apply to poetry are irrelevant when writing business content. As such, it is not enough to decide to be better at writing – you have to be specific. Selecting the areas you want to specialise in, would help you focus on the things that spark your interest the most, and help you advance your skills in those areas.

2. Read To be a better writer, you have to read just as much as you write. Read books on writing, novels, good blogs and other materials that would help you become a better writer and a better person in general. Reading helps you expand your vocabulary and gives you more knowledge about what to write on as what you read generally defines what you write and keeps you well informed.

3. Learn the use of words and the Use of proper English: Learn to use the right words in the right contexts. Learn how to use tenses, concord, parts of speeches, writing structure, grammar and the necessary knowledge that serves as foundation for writing. Just as you cannot write if you don’t know the alphabets, the quality of your written content will not get better unless you learn the basics.

4. Write what comes to you naturally and maintain one voice: The things you read would naturally propel you to write in a certain manner. It is therefore important that you do not force your writing style by trying to sound like another writer. Rather, find your voice and maintain it.

5. Write daily and seek feedback: As cliché as this sounds, it is nothing less than true – it is important to write something daily. Writing, just like any skill is made perfect through practice. Give your write-ups or articles to someone else to read, accept constructive criticism, and strive to get better.

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