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How To Write Something That Can Engage Your Readers

How To Write Something That Can Engage Your Readers

Do you want to improve your writing skills? Even great writers choose to work on improving their writing technique and style, from authors to bloggers to lyricists. Excellent writing flows well and grabs the reader’s attention immediately, drawing them in and making them want to read more.

There are many simple writing tips that can make your writing more appealing to the reader – check out 7 tips that will help you to write well below.

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1. Be concise and avoid rambling

One of the most common mistakes made by new writers is writing overly long and complicated sentences. The writers don’t want to miss out any detail and they are trying to sound knowledgeable, but instead they end up rambling and losing the interest of the reader. Instead of focusing on describing everything, only write down the essentials to create vivid, high-quality descriptive writing.

2. Do your research before you write

A quick way to lose credibility as a writer is to write something inaccurate. Many writers simply forget to check their facts, or are in a hurry to publish their article, but it is well worth doing the research. You can often double check most facts on-line on reputable websites, or you can contact a company or person relevant to your article. This will help you to project an image of a professional, reliable writer, which could even get you new writing projects in the future.

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3. Use varied sentence lengths

Sentence lengths are an important part of creating a good piece of writing. Short sentences can be used to convey facts quickly, or to add effect to important messages, and long sentences can be used to describe a scene or build tension. Avoid writing a repetitive article and make your words flow with varied sentence lengths.

4. Find your own writing style

All great writers have their own, unique voice. Their writing voice allows them to create their own niche and gains them consistent, devoted readers. If you don’t feel like you have found your writing voice yet, look to other writers who inspire you. Compare all of the writers to each other and think about what you like about each writer’s individual voice, and then write down what you want to sound like as a writer. This will help you to find your own voice.

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5. Create a writing outline before you start to write

One of the biggest problems for all writers is knowing what you want to write about before you start. Create a writing outline before you start writing to help make the work seem less intimidating and more achievable. It doesn’t need to be complicated; simply write a framework for how many sections you will write, and what you will cover in each section.

6. Don’t use overly-complicated words to sound impressive

Many writers intentionally use long and difficult words to try and sound impressive while creating effect, but this rarely has the desired effect. Instead the writing becomes clunky and hard to digest, taking away the flow of the words. This leaves the reader disinterested and even patronized. Avoid this by using common, relatable words that don’t distract from your writing, with vivid descriptions to impress and add effect.

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7. Read your writing out loud when you have finished

Excellent writing flows like speech, and hearing your writing out loud will help to notice any poorly phrased sentences or repeated words.This easiest way to make sure your writing reads well is to read it out loud once you have finishing writing it. You can also use software programs on your computer to read your work to you, or you can ask a friend or family member to read the article out loud.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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