18 Best Resources to Help You Improve Your Writing Skills
To help you enhance your writing skills, we’ve gathered recommendations from 18 professionals, including founders, CEOs, and community managers. From joining Writers’ Hour for focus to discovering “The Writer’s Journey,” explore these valuable resources that can take your writing abilities to the next level.
- Writers’ Hour
- Handley’s Everybody Writes
- Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style
- Anthony Bourdain’s Works
- StoryADay Podcast
- Stephen King’s On Writing
- Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird
- Shapiro’s Writing Handbook
- The Writing Cooperative Platform
- Hemingway Editor
- Writing Excuses Podcast
- Microsoft Word Readability Tool
- Cliche Finder
- Diverse Reading
- Zinnser’s On Writing Well
- Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey
When it comes to improving your writing abilities, I highly recommend checking out Writers’ Hour. It’s an amazing resource that offers a virtual, hour-long writing sprint each weekday. The best part? It’s completely free for everyone to attend, four times a day, from Monday to Friday. They also organize workshops, writing challenges, and other community members’ events as well.
During Writers’ Hour, you get the opportunity to write alongside other writers from around the globe. It creates a supportive and productive space that helps you stay focused on your writing projects. Whether you’re working on a novel, blog posts, or any other writing endeavor, Writers’ Hour gives you that dedicated hour to make significant progress. So join Writers’ Hour and let’s write together! Happy writing!
Handley’s Everybody Writes
The book Everybody Writes is a great resource for any budding writer to help get started on practicing and becoming a better writer. It offers practical tips for getting started on writing and learning more about how to get into a daily habit of writing and creating content that makes it easier for anyone to start and improve their writing.
Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style
As a writer, I highly recommend The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White as a valuable resource for improving writing abilities. This timeless guide covers fundamental principles of grammar, style, and composition. It provides practical advice on clarity, brevity, and effective communication, making it a must-have for writers of all levels.
Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, The Elements of Style serves as a comprehensive reference to refine your writing skills. Its concise and actionable tips will enhance your ability to craft clear, compelling, and impactful content.
Grammarly is an AI-powered writing tool that helps individuals and businesses improve their writing abilities.
It can catch grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style mistakes, and offer suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and tone. It’s available as a Chrome extension, desktop app, and a mobile keyboard, and can be integrated with popular platforms like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Slack. The tool provides instant feedback, identifies repetitive words, makes suggestions on vocabulary, and checks for plagiarism.
With Grammarly, anyone can write with confidence and professionalism. It’s an excellent resource to boost writing skills and communicate with clarity and precision.
Anthony Bourdain’s Works
I run a large team of writers and editors, and apart from our standard writing and editing SOPs, I encourage everyone on our team to read more. Specifically, I ask them to read anything by Anthony Bourdain, as I believe his writing style and ability to get to the point quickly is a skill that any writer or marketer who wants to get better at writing should have.
Funny enough, even though this is appearing on Terkel, I recommend answering Terkel questions as a great way to improve your writing. I answer questions every morning.
Selected answers are a great guide as to where I tend to do the best, and I have honed my writing to better emulate that style. Short, to the point, and take a strong point of view. This is the kind of writing that has made me a more successful communicator in contexts in and outside of Terkel.
I’ve found an incredibly beneficial resource in the StoryADay Podcast. This remarkable tool has been instrumental in refining my writing capabilities. It provides unique insights and practical exercises for better storytelling, leading to enhanced content that truly resonates with audiences.
Each episode leaves me inspired, challenged, and eager to create more compelling narratives. If you’re serious about leveling up your writing game, I wholeheartedly recommend diving into this podcast. It’s an unparalleled platform that has undoubtedly improved my approach to writing and I believe it can do the same for anyone.
Stephen King’s On Writing
One resource I highly recommend is On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. I personally found it incredibly helpful in my writing journey. It’s not just a writing manual; it’s also a memoir that offers practical and inspiring advice on the entire process. The book is a perfect blend of King’s life story and his perspective on the art of writing. His advice on being disciplined, avoiding adverbs, and reading a lot to improve one’s craft really resonated with me. I believe anyone seeking to improve their writing can learn a lot from this book.
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird
This book is one of the most popular texts for college creative writing courses, but it may be utilized for essays and other types of writing as well. It emphasizes that authors shouldn’t worry about the broader picture and offers succinct, uplifting tips about drafting language. Lamott suggests that authors be calm and proceed cautiously. Anyone who wishes to develop their writing abilities can use this short, straightforward book.
One of the most significant and typical requirements you’ll see when submitting your articles to journals is the requirement for excellent grammar and writing skills. This can be more easily said than done for beginning writers or persons whose strengths lie in other areas. You’ve probably heard of Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and the Hemingway App, which are all useful online editing tools.
Shapiro’s Writing Handbook
If you struggle with content ideation and writing compelling content that stands out, then this writing handbook by Julian Shapiro is what you need. Even if that’s not your struggle, it will still help you to write captivating pieces.
It teaches step by step, from picking your topic if you are starting without a direction to tips on identifying your unique style. The guide is starting to end, packed with tips and tricks for effortless writing.
It talks about formulas like “Writing quality = Novelty x Resonance,” meaning good writing will resonate with your audience, but the novelty will make it seem unique to them.
My favorite one is to ask your friends what they think of your tone of voice, sense of humor, eccentricities, and viewpoints; and adding them into your writing to curate your unique writing style. This is far better than shadowing other writers and trying to write like them.
The Writing Cooperative Platform
The Writing Cooperative is an online platform that features articles, resources, and a supportive community for writers. It covers a wide range of writing-related topics, including tips, insights, and personal experiences shared by writers of all levels.
Exploring the articles and engaging with the community on The Writing Cooperative can inspire writers, offer valuable advice, and foster growth in writing abilities.
The Hemingway Editor is a web-based tool that helps writers enhance the clarity and readability of their writing. It analyzes your text and highlights complex sentences, unnecessary adverbs, passive voice, and other elements that can make your writing difficult to understand.
By identifying these issues, the Hemingway Editor allows you to simplify and streamline your writing, making it more concise and engaging. It provides a readability score and suggests specific improvements, such as using active voice or replacing long words with simpler alternatives.
Writing Excuses Podcast
The Writing Excuses podcast, hosted by renowned authors Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler, is a valuable resource for aspiring writers. Each episode delves into different aspects of writing, providing practical tips, advice, and discussions on various genres and writing challenges.
Listening to this podcast offers valuable insights and inspiration, allowing writers to hone their skills and gain a deeper understanding of the craft.
Microsoft Word Readability Tool
While you could always invest in something like Grammarly, I often find that the built-in readability score checking in Microsoft Word can do a great job for free.
Getting to the tool is pretty simple, though it depends on which version of Office you are using, and it offers a few different tests such as the Flesch Reading Ease test, which rates you on a 100-point scale for how easy your document is to understand. Most rate between 60 and 70, so anything above that means you’re doing great, and below that means you’ve probably got some work to do.
One excellent resource for enhancing your writing abilities and creating compelling content is Cliche Finder. It’s a website that assists in identifying and eliminating cliches from your writing. Cliches are overused phrases that make writing sound unoriginal and dull.
By pasting your text into Cliche Finder, it highlights any cliches detected, prompting you to seek fresh, creative alternatives. This tool encourages critical thinking about language choices and promotes vibrant, memorable writing. While not comprehensive, Cliche Finder complements other writing resources, helping you spot and remove cliches to refine your skills and produce captivating, authentic content.
Immersing yourself in a wide range of books, articles, and genres exposes you to different writing styles, vocabulary, and storytelling techniques. This practice helps expand your knowledge, improves your language skills, and enhances your understanding of effective writing.
By reading diverse content, you can learn from accomplished authors, observe their writing techniques, and gain inspiration for your own work. Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, or industry-specific material, the act of reading serves as a valuable resource to sharpen your writing abilities and develop your unique writing voice.
Zinsser’s On Writing Well
One resource I highly recommend to others looking to improve their writing abilities is On Writing Well by William Zinsser. This book is a timeless classic that offers practical advice and insights on how to write clear, concise, and engaging prose.
Zinsser’s book covers a wide range of topics, including clarity, simplicity, word choice, grammar, and storytelling. He emphasizes the importance of writing with purpose, connecting with readers, and honing your unique voice. The book also provides numerous examples and exercises to practice the concepts discussed.
I find On Writing Well to be an invaluable resource because it not only teaches the technical aspects of writing but also encourages writers to develop their personal style and find joy in the writing process. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, this book offers valuable guidance and inspiration to enhance your writing skills.
Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler is an excellent resource for anyone looking to enhance their writing skills.
Vogler explains how to evoke specific emotions in readers. He gives practical examples from popular literature and films throughout the book. Thanks to this, the presented concepts are more applicable, and writers can see how to improve their creations. The author also provides valuable insights into story structure and creating engaging characters. He outlines the stages a hero typically goes through in their journey, which can help writers craft compelling narratives with well-paced plots.
What I also love about The Writer’s Journey is that it serves as a great source of inspiration. The way Vogler explores universal themes can spark creativity and encourage writers to tap into the timeless elements of storytelling.
The book is informative and written in an easy-to-understand manner. It’s a true must-read for anyone who wants to boost their writing abilities.
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