Improve Writing Skills: Want to Do It In The Next 10 Minutes?
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One of the things about writing is, sometimes if you focus on it too closely or worry about it too much you just make yourself write that much worse. You’re so worried about using just the right words and getting all the punctuation right that you forget you’re just talking to real people. It’s like people who have a fear of public speaking. They can’t get past the idea that everyone in the crowd is staring. Want to improve your writing skills in the next 10 minutes? Quit thinking about it and just write!
Every new blogger gets “stage fright.” It’s natural. You’re worried about making a good impression and you want to sound like and expert but your words just sound so incredibly dull and boring. Then you get even more stressed trying to come up with colorful words to make your content more interesting. You can drive yourself nuts.
I had this same problem, too, when I first started blogging and here’s what I did to to solve it: Sit down and talk to a friend.
No, I don’t mean you should literally sit down and talk to a friend, although, if that’s possible and it helps then go for it.
What I mean is, when you sit down to write your next blog post, imagine you’re sitting across the table from one very best friend. You both have coffee and a plate of croissants. (Or beer and nachos if that’s more your style!) Now, imagine your friend has just asked you whatever the question is you plan to answer in your blog post today.
Picture yourself having a friendly discussion with your friend as you explain your point of view and answer his questions. What words are you using? Are you using those hoity-toity words you’ve been trying to work into your blog posts? Probably not. And that’s a good thing. Because the best way to “talk” to the readers of your blog is exactly the same way you’d address a close friend during a normal conversation.
Your readers aren’t expecting Shakespeare. In fact, if you think about it, most people hate Shakespeare. They also don’t like being talked down to which is what they feel like when you use those 14-syllable words they don’t understand, so quit trying to work them into your content.
Go read some of your favorite blogs and read some of those high-ranking blogs you find so intimidating. The one thing they’ll all have in common is that they “speak” to you at your level, and they “talk” to you as if you were a friend.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Don’t kill yourself trying to write award-winning prose. Focus on spelling words right, using the basic rules of grammar and formatting your text so it’s easy to read. And the – stop worrying about it. Imagine you’re explaining something to your friend and then just sit down and write.