Writing effectively and mere writing are two different terms. You can’t write effectively by just writing error-free sentences. Your expertise in a language doesn’t define you as a good writer.
Writing effectively is more than just writing – it is about connecting with the reader through words. When we write, we convey a message through our words – the quality of writing is directly proportional to the efficiency with which we conveyed the message.
People often confuse between writing effectively and writing correctly. They don’t know the difference between the two, let’s understand the fine line between the two –
Writing Effectively v/s Writing Correctly
You just pass-out your school and hold a good command over a language (say English). You can frame error-free sentences; you are good with the vocabulary of that language. Now, this is what you call correct writing. Writing effectively is not just writing correctly – though you are required to frame error-free sentences.
What your audience/reader seeks from you? Do they want to see fancy words in your content? They are reading your piece to solve their problem. Your job as a good writer is to connect with them and give them exactly what they want through your writeup. This is effective writing. You don’t need to use fancy words here – your words depend upon your reader; you have to make them understand.
Words are a beautiful mode of communication. Being a writer, you jot down what you want to speak. This has to be precise. Conveying a message through words requires skill; it requires hard work. You don’t learn effective writing overnight.
There are mainly three ways in which you write –business writing, academic writing, and creative writing. All three modes of writing seek different sets of skills from the writer. Business writing is where you promote a business/product through your written content. Here you have to be extremely good with your engagement skills. Your content should be influential and fetch the value.
Academic writing is about preparing college/school assignments, writing essays, and so on. This works differently than business writing. Here you have a specific format to follow. You can’t use an informal tone in your academic writeups. Moreover, the rules of academic writing are harsh, and you have to stick with them to score good marks.
Creative writing is where you carve your brain’s creativity through words. Be it poem or story or journal; everything falls in this domain. This is mostly informal and one of the most interesting modes of writing. There aren’t any harsh rules, and you are just expected to create a creative piece that connects with the reader well.
Let’s understand what defines good writing –
It is not always easy to differentiate between good writing and bad writing. Had there been only one form of writing, it would have been straightforward to define good writing. But sadly, we don’t have that advantage here. But if you look closely at a writeup, you can figure out some factors that are often noticed in a good writeup –
- Good writing is precise, and it will not make you squander. It will convey the message clearly and will not talk about unnecessary stuff.
- The message through the writeup will be clear and leave no confusion. You won’t feel lost and perplexed after going through a good writeup. The message in the content will have sufficient information to support it. Good content will convey a positive message with accurate information.
- Good content will keep you connected throughout. You won’t feel like getting off the page if you have a genuine interest in the niche. From the opening part to the closure, the content will keep you connected to itself and won’t lose you midway.
- The grammar of the content is correct. The sentences used throughout the content are precise, error-free, and emphatic. It will use simple words that are easy to understand, and you won’t feel like keeping a dictionary with you while reading.
Effective writing, in simple words –is a piece that conveys the message in simple words yet effectively. This message is easily understandable and requires no expertise to understand.
Academic writing works slightly differently as there you have a specific format and rules to follow, which may make the content monotonous.
So, you may have got a good understanding of what effective writing is and how it differs from correct writing. Let’s now understand how you can write effectively –
How to Write Effectively?
Effective writing doesn’t develop overnight; you will have to invest your time and effort. It requires practice. You need to be a good reader before you become a good writer.
Though there are no hard and fast rules, here are specific tips that you can follow to improve your writing –
You must know why you are writing. Before you begin with your pen or keyboard, figure out what you want to achieve through this writeup and why do you want to write this.
You must know who your audience is and how do you want them to react while reading this. These are basic things that you must figure out before you begin your writing.
There are times when you will have numerous objectives while writing – figure out your primary one. Unless you have a clear vision, you can’t develop an effective piece. It is also essential to assess what you are writing. Be it a blog or essay or reviews; you must be clear about them.
You know the reason behind your writing, now is the time to bring that dream objective to reality. At first, organize your thoughts. You can write to them separately for easy reference.
Now, several people just stare at the blank paper for hours before they start. Avoid this. You have your thoughts, start with the research part. Try to find every relevant information for your thoughts.
Research is an essential part of your writing. Do thorough research on what you are writing. Try to connect your thoughts which whatever you have researched. Once you are done with it, now is the time to know your audience.
3. Know your audience
Most people commit this mistake – they don’t research their audience. You are writing this for whom? The readers. So, you must know what they like, what they don’t. The more you know about your audience, the better you can develop your content.
Once you begin researching your audience, you will get to know so many things –what you need to include and exclude, what style and tone you need to follow, what language you should prefer, how you should select your words, and so on.
Once you are clear with your audience, your writing will be so much easy. You must check for their demography, their age-group, their interest, etc. Now is the time to begin your writing.
You have done more than half of your work by now. Writing is always easy when it is backed by superior research.
Start with your writing, don’t worry about good or bad writing, and don’t think about errors, just write. Prepare your first draft. Don’t edit the content when you are writing it in the first go.
Once you are done with your first draft, now is the time for its review. Keep your objective in your mind while reviewing it. Think about your audience. Is it following everything? Will your objective be fulfilled through this?
Do the editing part. Make it a better draft. Prepare an outline and fit your content into that. You can drop down the unnecessary part from the content and add if you missed anything. Also, check for any grammar and spelling errors. Make all the necessary changes and keep reviewing it until you are ready for the feedback.
Now is the time to take feedback on your writeup. This will help in getting a third-person perspective of your writing. You can add more strength to your content now.
Add the introduction and conclusion part in this writeup and read it by yourself now. Read it once, twice, and thrice – unless you know what’s missing? Now, put yourself in the reader’s shoes and think of any edits.
In your final edit, try to make it simpler (easy to read). Correct your language, tone, and style. Proofread your content for one more time and polish it thoroughly before finalizing it. If needed, you can follow this writing guideline one more time.
This is your final draft. It’s ready, it’s polished, and it’s impeccable.
Here are some psychological tips to improve your writing –
1. Writer’s block –
Most of the people face this issue when they can’t write, they feel blocked.
a) Make sure you pick the niche in which you feel comfortable. Frustration is the main reason for writer’s block.
b) Do not make it a burden; instead, make writing your friend.
c) Pick the language that comforts you.
d) Make sure the environment around you is friendly.
e) Have small targets and plan for them.
f) Take breaks and be comfortable while writing.
A lot of writers don’t feel confident at the start. Don’t overthink about right or wrong.
This is your beginning; you will improve if you will keep practicing. Effective writing is developed with more and more writing, as well as reading. Invest your time and effort, and you will eventually improve.
So, this was all about effective writing and how you can improve your writing. Read a lot and write a lot– this is a simple way of improving your writing. Keep practicing, and never worry about mistakes.
You will eventually transform yourself into a great writer.