10 ways for professional writers to hone their craft

For casual scribes, stringing words together can be a bit of a lark. Professional communicators, though, must adhere to higher standards. Embrace these practices for ongoing improvement.

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Anyone can write, but it takes hard, strategic work to become a good writer.

Here are 10 proven ways to improve your skills:

1. Prepare. Absorb information about writing, but don’t overwhelm yourself. I’ve been known to read a writing handbook or editing manual cover to cover, but I recommend reading one chapter or section at a time and absorbing information from online resources in similarly small doses.

2. Practice. Work on your writing every day. Commit to a daily writing exercise, even if you have only five minutes to spare. If you write for a living, or writing constitutes a significant proportion of your daily tasks at work, set aside time to practice other forms of composition. Style or subject matter can vary day to day, or you can decide to, for example, respond in writing to something you experienced with any of your five senses (including anything you watched or read by way of a form of media). Alternatively, find a list of writing prompts online, and use the next one on the list each day, or choose one randomly.

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