Monday, January 13, 2014

Improve writing skills... quickly?

One of my favorite things to do when I find a good article is analyzing their perspective.  I think it’s fascinating to see how perspectives differ from person to person, even when talking about the same subject.  The important thing is, as Baz Luhrman states; “Be careful who’s advice you take, but be patient with those that supply it.”  I like to take it all in, and then decide what I like, what works for me and how I can apply it.  The particular article that I chose to address is from, 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills-Quickly by Amandah Tayler Blackwell.  Now, I have seen a lot of lists on how to improve this or the other thing, but the part that snagged my attention is the “quickly” part.  I want to address a few of the ways she lists, and then come back to the “quickly”. 

    The first one made me think of Kasey’s post last week when she was sick.  I love how she makes is sound like she’s having all these great experiences, and then you realize that she is reading a story!  She cracks me up.  But I know that reading all these different stories and writing in your journal is a great way to come up with new ideas for writing.  Another great way, at least for me, is dreams.  I swear my dreams are so vivid, that I could get almost a new idea every night!  The ones that really throw me are the dreams that have a beginning, a plot and end!  I feel like I’m watching and participating a movie!  It’s kind of fun.

    The one that would be a challenge to me is her idea of rewriting your blog posts.  I definitely see the purpose in doing this, because it can help you to see ways that you can improve your writing.  I would have a difficult time sticking to this idea, unless I had to redo the post for something else.  I like the feeling that I am “finished” with something.  But I know that especially in writing, you can’t get caught in this thinking because writing is a process that requires a lot of rewriting. 

    I wanted to also mention one that I think we (especially us MMW bloggers) should pay attention to, and that is “commenting on your favorite blog posts”.  I get in the habit of reading something and then thinking to myself, “Wow, I really liked that.” and then moving on.  My goal is to stop and give some feedback when I read a post.  I love to see others comment on my posts. It lets me know where I can improve, it opens my mind up to other ideas and it also gives me motivation to keep writing because I feel like maybe I’m making a difference!  So when you read something you like (or even dislike) take a few moments and put down some constructive feedback! 

    Another favorite is “read beyond what you normally read”, but I’m not going to go too much into it, because I would like to see you guys read her article.  She has some great ideas!  The one thing that confused me a little, is that she didn’t go into how her list would help you get there “quickly”.  All of her suggestions were really good ideas, but  I am not sure I understand how it gets us there faster.  Any thoughts?  Check out the whole list!

Question to Ponder:
If you were asked to add five things to her list, what would you add?

1 comment:

  1. I think that the reason she didn't say anything about doing it quickly is because it's a process that, beyond all those things, takes TIME! I think the title was just there to catch your attention.

    I agree with you on the rewriting stuff- I have too much to do to spend time rewriting stuff! But when I read other people's work I am almost always critiquing it in my head and thinking about how I would change it to make it better (well, in my opinion anyway) and noting the things I like that I want to incorporate into my own writing.

    One thing I do, however, is after I have written something I almost always sleep on it, especially if it's one of the articles I write for the magazine. I always find things I can improve with a fresh look at it.

    Most of the other advice is stuff I've heard before, and for good reason- it's good advice! As for the five things I would add? Keep notebooks and pens EVERYWHERE. If you ever feel unsure of a word's meaning, or correct grammar usage, stop what you're doing and look it up- maybe even write yourself a reminder note. Read poetry. Write poetry. Challenge yourself to write a story in 100 words or less- it's a great way to cut away the fluff and get to the heart of communicating.

    Great thought-provoking post!



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