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Write Better: Five tips for improvement

1. Read.

Read inside and outside your comfort zone. When you find a sentence that resonates with you, read between the lines to see how the author made it work. Check out blogs that analyze the nuts and bolts of style like In Search of the Perfect Sentence. Read, read, read.

2. Write.

Think of writing like playing a musical instrument. Daily practice keeps the muscle memory sharp, and makes you better. Keep a journal and freewrite every morning. Start a blog. Use daily writing prompts like the ones I post on twitter to give you a spark each day or find others online like these.

3. Tighten up: Write big; rewrite small.

For the first draft, write as much as you like. Capture every detail — write BIG. In round two, rewrite SMALL. Give yourself a maximum number of words and edit your piece to fit. If you do this often enough, you will automatically begin to write tighter as you go.

4. Be fearless.

Share your work with other writers to get feedback. Bashful writers never get published because their work sits in drawers unseen and unread. Join a writers’ group, or form one with people you trust.

5. Take a flight of fancy.

Feed your imagination a little down time each day. Turn off all the screens; silence all the beeping, buzzing gizmos. Take a deep breath and let your mind wander. You might be surprised where it takes you.

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