Top Tips from BE’s Writing Team
Today, we’re excited to share a collaboration between four members of the Braathe Enterprises writing team: Alexis Carriere, Amber Nathan, Amy Guo, and Neela Gilbert. (For more information on each intern, check out our Instagram and Facebook at @CareerServiceStation)! Each member has contributed two tips for better writing. Check them out below.
I always tell people to read more. That’s my best advice. Good writers read. When you read, you gain a sense of punctuation, flow, and style from other authors. In addition, you gain inspiration and ideas when you fill your world with words every day. So read constantly, every single day, every single chance you get.
Next, I encourage people to write more. When you don’t practice your craft, you stagnate. Talents are like muscles—they need constant exercise, or they atrophy. You should write something every day, no matter how short. It could be a few lines of poetry, a book chapter, or a blog post. As long as you’re writing, you’re growing and taking daily steps toward success.
Writer’s block is often self-inflicted. Either you’re feeling lazy, you’re having a bad day, or you’re afraid what you’ll write isn’t good enough. Don’t use any of that as an excuse not to write. You’ll never improve through avoidance. Practice, practice, practice.
Writing with voice is something we get taught in middle school, but throughout the next decade, timed essays, research papers, and the like aren’t flexible in letting your voice shine. My advice is: let it shine anyways. Not letting your voice drown in even the simplest of assignments can be a major example of your versatility as a writer. Keep in mind that for graded assignments, timed tests (like AP tests or the SAT), or monthly papers, your teacher or boss has to read through tens of similar-sounding writing pieces. Having a strong voice is a great way to set your paper apart and provide yourself a bigger chance to get recognized for your writing.
Read your writing out loud! Even if it’s to yourself in a secluded room or to your pets, reading your writing pieces out loud is a great way to identify three possible issues: flow and organization, grammar, and the strength of your claim. Editing your writing on your computer or on paper is always beneficial, but after a while, the words can get blurred together and you start skimming (it’s okay, we’ve all been there). Speaking it aloud lets you confirm that your argument is logical and straightforward. If you start feeling self-conscious about the flow of your words, it’s a good sign your organization might need some work.
Writing can boost your creativity in life. My advice is: brainstorm your ideas before you start writing. Brainstorming your ideas helps you think about what you want to say or write. Before I start my writing, I always brainstorm what I want to say because I was told that brainstorming helps you build your ideas and thoughts. Brainstorming allows you to give your ideas on how to come up with brilliant ideas as you write. Brainstorming also allows you to prepare before you start your writing. Brainstorming is a helpful way to help you create different ideas for your writing and how you can think more freely using brainstorming. It encourages you to open and continue collaboration to solve problems and create problems that inspire people with new ideas.
In other words, writing down ideas is much easier and simple because it helps you remember what you want to write. I always encourage myself to write down new ideas. Writing down ideas doesn’t help you just to remember, it makes your mind improve by helping you focus on the important things that happen in your life. Writing down ideas also helps you organize your thoughts and ideas on your paper where you can outline your ideas before you start writing. Thus, brainstorming your ideas is a great way to help you improve your writing and become a better writer.
Writing should be fun! Nowadays, we always dread writing, from essays to short papers. Writing is another way to share your opinions, thoughts, and stories, and I think people lose sight of that sometimes. If you’re super passionate/opinionated about something, write about it. If you’re extremely happy or upset, write about it. If you find something you love or hate, write about it. Writing is a way for people to hear your voice without actually “hearing it”. It’s a way for shy people to finally talk, it’s a way for unorganized people to finally compose their thoughts. It can be a way to make friends with people who have the same passions as you, or maybe a way to learn new sides to stories. Whatever you’re feeling or thinking, writing can be a way to turn your thoughts into words. It’s not something to dread, it should be something to get excited about!
It’s also important to make your writing “seen”. Don’t use boring, undescriptive words that’ll lose people’s interest. Instead, use words that paint a picture in people’s minds. Writing with passion and imagery is so much more fun to read/write. If you think your word choice is too “basic”, look up synonyms and use words you would’ve never normally thought of. “Sad” can be turned into “sorrowful” or “despairing”. “Pretty” can be turned into “alluring” or “appealing”. There are so many ways to make your writing into something that readers can actually feel/see, don’t be afraid to turn your words into a picture.
Writing is a skill you use throughout life, from high school essays to cover letters. You can improve your writing through dedication and discipline and have fun while doing it, too. So what’s stopping you? Get writing!