How Do You Get Better at Writing?

7 simple questions to keep you in check

Nela Canovic

--

Photo by Nils Stahl on Unsplash

What’s the purpose of your writing?

Before you begin, you should understand the why. What is your article, blog post, or project about? Why is it important and to whom? What’s the unique angle that may add value to others? How long will the article be? Should it be completed in one go or in stages? What is the due date, if any? Who else (an editor, designer, or project manager) will be collaborating on it with you?

Who are you writing for?

A piece of writing will rarely be read by every single person on the planet. At the same time, knowing the target audience will help determine the voice, tone, and vocabulary you will use. Who will read your copy? What is their age group, location, education or income level, cultural background, or any additional demographic data you can find out? What is something they care deeply about? What do they want to know or learn?

Can you summarize it in one sentence?

This is similar to an elevator pitch in business terms. Your audience will likely be short on time and they might just want to skim your copy. If you have very little time or a small amount of space to pitch an idea for a project or to summarize what it’s about, it should all fit into one phrase or sentence. Your sentence should provide answers to who, what, why (and sometimes where and when) this piece of writing is important. It should also make people curious to find out more.

What will go in your outline?

It’s helpful to write a list of items that should be included in your copy. An e-book, for example, can start with an outline of the chapters and material that will go in each section, as well as a list of references you’ll be using. It doesn’t have to be a final version, but it’s a good start. Think of the outline as a work in progress — you’ll keep adding and maybe removing sections as you move farther along.

Are you expressing yourself clearly?

I’m not a fan of long paragraphs and sentences that go on for two typewritten pages. Whenever possible, I want to keep my…

--

--

Nela Canovic

Growth mindset hacker, writer, Silicon Valley entrepreneur.