Improving your writing

A couple nights ago I was reading through a selection of articles and blogs by way of Zite, which is one of my favorite ways to get topical articles.  One of the posts that was selected for me was Improving Your Academic Writing: My top 10 tips, a blog post by Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD.  Dr. Pacheco-Vega’s post is filled with common sense but very important tips on writing.  While the title of his post specified academic writing, his principles really apply across the board to any writer and any type of writing – be it technical, fiction, blogging, etc.

Good writing skills are something I think are lacking more and more in the professional world.  Through my professional career I’ve found myself coaching college graduates on foundational professional writing technique.  Clearly I enjoy writing, otherwise I wouldn’t be blogging, writing emergency plans, and designing training courses and preparedness exercises.  I’ve found that blogging, even in the midst of those other writing projects, helps hone and improve my writing skills.

While I’ve listed his tips below, please be sure to visit Dr. Pacheco-Vega’s post for his full narrative.

1) Be disciplined and write every day.

2) Give yourself the best tools to write.

3) Write as you would speak.

4) Have other people read your pieces to provide you with feedback.

5) Read a lot, and across different disciplines.

6) Write for your audience.

7) Write without interruptions.

8) Take care of yourself.

9) Practice your writing – write a lot.

10) When stuck, write by hand.

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