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No matter what industry you work in or want to get into, communicating in writing is important. As business development professional Fahim Imam-Sadeque explains, having basic writing skills is a key component of communication.
If you think your writing skills aren’t as good as they could or should be, there are several strategies you can use to improve them. It will take work to improve your skills, but it doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive.
Here are some helpful strategies for anyone looking to improve their basic writing skills.
- To read a lot
Ironically, one of the most effective ways to improve your writing skills isn’t to write a lot; it’s a lot to read. Those who excel in writing are often the most avid and avid readers. If you approach reading with passion, it will make improving your writing skills even more manageable. Reading helps expand your vocabulary and grammar. It familiarizes you with different writing styles and teaches you new things in the process.
When choosing what to read, some basic rules are to select something that interests you or that you want to learn more about; stick to books or printed materials (at least initially) and choose from a variety of authors and subjects.
As you read more, you will be better equipped to identify what makes certain writing effective and where writing falls short. Then you can apply those principles and skills you learn to your own writing.
- Write with a purpose
If you want to improve your writing skills, you must be very determined. The first step is to set aside time each day to write. It should be part of your daily routine.
Like any skill, writing takes practice. If you don’t set aside time for this practice, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to improve your writing skills the way you want.
Your writing exercises don’t need to take a lot of time, and they don’t need to be long. You’re not trying to write “war and peace” here; you are simply looking to hone your skills by practicing them daily.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to write with a specific goal in mind. There are many different types of writing, and as you improve your basic skills, you may want to refine specific types of writing. This could include business writing, persuasive writing, or creative writing.
- Use fewer words
A big mistake many writers make is taking too many words to get their point across. Unfortunately, this often leads to confusion, which is how lines of communication can be broken.
As you write, try to use as few words as possible. Eliminate extra filler words like “really” and “very” whenever possible. They don’t add much to your writing but rather serve as “uh” and “uh” of written communication.
When you write succinctly, you also force yourself to find new words to communicate the message you are trying to convey. As a result, it forces you to learn and use new words that may not have been part of your everyday vocabulary before.
Fahim Imam-Sadeque says you should focus on short, precise sentences. The longer it takes to describe what you’re trying to get across, the more likely the reader will miss the point – or wander off altogether.
These are three ways to improve your basic writing skills. Of course, there are many more, but these are a great place to start.
About Fahim Imam-Sadeque
Fahim Imam-Sadeque is a business development professional with proven experience in the asset management industry. He holds a BSc in Actuarial Science from City University London and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. Fahim’s core competencies include asset management, hedge funds, investment management, sales, and consultant and client relationship management.