Writing is my most favoritest thing. I like to write, always have. In elementary school I got in trouble when the teacher asked me a question I didn’t hear, because I was too busy writing about science stuff.
I got beat up a lot in elementary school.
ANYWAY, writing uses a part of your brain that’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the easier it gets. Here are the exercises I do, every day, to help improve my writing:
- Sit down at a computer. Start a stopwatch. For 4 minutes, write down everything that comes to mind. Don’t hesitate/edit/delete or otherwise not write something because it’s “not a good idea”. When you’re done, do what you like with the result: Delete it, or save it so you can show it to your therapist later on. Skills developed: Smooth writing flow; brainstorming; typing (if you need it). Total time required: 05:00
- Do a quick role-play: Look out your window. With the first person/animal you see, write down, in 2 sentences or less, what they’re thinking. No, I’m not asking you to be a psychic. Write down what you think they’re thinking. Skills developed: Audience analysis; imagination; smooth writing flow. Total time required: 3 minutes.
- Take one e-mail or other document you wrote yesterday and rewrite it. Pick something short, unless you feel masochistic. Take no more than 5 minutes. Most important: Make it at least 10% shorter, while still communicating the same message. Skills developed: Editing; active voice (it’ll happen); economy of words. Total time required: 5 minutes.
- Learn a new word. Sounds totally corny, I know, but more words = more ammo. Plus, you can tell someone they’re ‘avuncular’ and leave them wondering if you just insulted them or not. Total time required: 2 minutes.
I’ve seriously done all 4 of these exercises almost daily for 20 years. I’m definitely a better writer for it.
Try it: Do all 4 exercises for 2 weeks. If you aren’t writing more easily, and better, at the end of those 2 weeks, you can write nasty comments below: