From Writing that Works
SEVEN TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING
Writers must keep pushing to improve and to stay interested. Here are some ways to do both.
1. Read about writing. Look at many new books and buy the 10 to 12 a year that seem to offer at least two or three ideas or to reinforce the basics.
2. Attend writing seminars. At least once every other year attend a writing seminar to get reinforcement and hear others' points of view.
3. Soak in good writing. Read such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated and Vanity Fair. Read what you like and admire. Read as a writer; when you read something really good, go back and analyze it. Look for techniques you can use.
4. Notice how broadcast interviewers work. For example, Bill Moyers does extensive homework and shows intense interest in his subjects. Watch for questions and techniques you can use.
5. Don't try to perfect everything at once. Work on different elements on different pieces. For instance, on your next piece focus on writing great verbs.
6. Edit a paragraph or two of someone else's writing each day. Select a paragraph, perhaps from a newspaper, and improve it.
7. Talk shop. Keep your batteries charged by talking to other writers, whether in monthly departmental meetings or in groups writing completely different material.
SOURCE: WRITING THAT WORKS, a print-only, bimonthly newsletter.
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