3 unusual exercises to improve your writing in 2012

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to hone your composition skills, here are a few ways to help.

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If one of your resolutions is to improve your writing skills, consider these tried and true writing exercises.

1. Turn your writing process upside down.

Do you plan, outline, and organize before you start writing? Or do you “just write” and put things down without considering how to organize the content?

Whichever you prefer, do the opposite. Try writing without an outline, and see what happens—or vice versa. By simply changing your approach to writing, you may discover a new style or a way to make the process less cumbersome.

2. Write using a different style guide.

Your style guide is like a trusted friend. You know it backward and forward. You rely on it to answer your writing questions.

(When I was studying for my Editor in the Life Sciences certification exam, I actually kept the American Medical Association Manual of Style on my nightstand.)

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