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Take 5 Minutes To Read And Improve Your Writing Skills Forever

Take 5 Minutes To Read And Improve Your Writing Skills Forever

Let’s be honest. You are here to for a crash course on writing. And you want a short yet comprehensive guide.

Before I start, I want to clarify a good writer pays attention to every level — word, sentence, paragraph, idea — of an article. And you NEED to take care of all levels as well.

    Now we’ll start with the easiest level – word first. Then we’ll go on with each level and at the end recommend a big list of really useful sites and books for your long term improvement.Let’s start with words.

    Use simpler words.

    There are many words for you choose from. Shorter, simpler, smarter.

    Example: Replace “however” with “but”, “utilize” with “use”.

    Use synonyms.

    Lost for words? Use tools like Thesaurus or Grammarly to find synonyms.

    Avoid passive voice.

    Passive voice and passive-sounding verbs sound boring and indirect. It’s always stronger to use active voice.

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    Example: (AV) “Your boss asked you to work overtime.” vs. (PV) “You are asked to work overtime by your boss.”

    Use “you” and “I”.

    Often we overuse the pronouns “we” and “us” to be relatable. While they show your empathy, “you” directs the message straight to your readers.

    Also, sprinkling in some “I”s makes you more genuine with your readers.

    Delete the “-ing”.

    In most times, the “-ing” adds no value to your sentence.

    Example: “The ‘-ing’ adds no value.” vs. “Adding the ‘-ing’ has no value.”

    For your long term benefit, you should keep a list of new words and amazing expressions for future use.

    To make it more handy you can download the vocabulary.com app so that you can jot down the words so easily.

    String your words into sentences.

    Golden rule: Delete the word “that”.

    An excessive amount of “that”s is annoying to read. We tend to think THAT the more connective words we use, the easier it is to read.

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    Read it without “that”, it sounds stronger.

    Less is more.

    (See what I did there?)

    The best copywriting follows this rule: use 2 or 3 words in a sentence. Nike’s “Just Do It”, McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It”, Avis’ “We Try Harder” are all essence of their own brand and images.

    Also, avoid hedges, disclaimers, and tag questions to keep your sentences shorter. They make you sound less persuasive and convincing.

    Example: “An afternoon nap boosts your productivity.” vs. “I think an afternoon nap could possibly boost your productivity, don’t you think so?”

    Label your readers with nouns.

    “I dream a lot”
    “I’m a dreamer”

    In fact, these two sentences convey the same message. The latter generates a longer-lasting attitude on your reader’s minds, because the noun is central to your reader’s identity rather than a simple action.

    BOLD OR CAPITALIZE TO EMPHASIZE.

    Obviously.

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    Check your sentences.

    Hemingway provides suggestions on word replacements, sentence structures, and readability assessments to strengthen your writing. Check what you’ve written before proceeding.

      In the long run, imitate the styles of great writers is a great way to strengthen your writing. Mix in your writing and Voila! You have a masterpiece.

      Paragraphs are equally important.

      Again, less is more.

      Keep your paragraphs to 2 or 3 sentences long, or even a single sentence long.

      A single sentence paragraph draws in a lot of attention.

      Also, use coherence markers.

      Copywriters seldom use coherence markers, because these words and phrases don’t add much value. But research[1] has discovered the use of coherence markers (like but, so, therefore) increase clarity and persuasion, so you should keep them in your writing.

      To develop better writing long term, you should rewrite great paragraphs with your own words.

      Coming up with an idea is already hard enough.

      All storytellers follow a simple formula — present a problem, proceed with an experience, then solve the problem.

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      There are also other storytelling and copywriting skills, click here for more.

      A free writing session a day.

      The best way to finesse your craft is to practice every single day.

      Give yourself a timed session to write ideas or passages under a theme. You might be stuck at first, but soon practice makes perfect.

      Organization is key.

      Overwriting is common problem. And you need to be willing to cut unnecessary details from your article. People cling onto what they’ve written because they don’t want to abandon their creations. But the real lesson is to learn to delete extra information.

      Biased writing is also a huge “no”. Even when you are writing with a stance, often include several drawbacks (a.k.a. a two-sided argument) makes you more convincing and rational, so your readers are more willing and comfortable to join your side.

      Don’t forget your headline and subheadings.

      Famous marketer David Oglivy once said[2],

      On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.

      It is SOOOOOO important to attract your readers with your headline. If your headline is not good enough, it doesn’t matter how amazing your content is.

      But don’t ever write clickbait headlines. An eye-catching headline without a well written content isn’t attracting either.

      At last, write comfortably.

      I have given you many tips and tricks to improve your writing skills. Don’t be stressed to follow certain rules, or a particular writing style. Keep these pointers in mind, and fuse your own personality and spunk to create beautiful pieces.

      And if you have the passion to further improve your writing skills, do read the following books and visit the sites below that are truly helpful.

      Highly recommended books for you to write better

      Great websites for your specific writing needs

      Reference

      More by this author

      Frank Yung

      Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

      Your Future Self Will Thank You For Starting To Do This For Only 10 Minutes Every Day 10 Best Standing Desks That Are High in Quality and Cheap in Price Finally, a Way to Avoid Jet Lag: The Jet Lag Calculator The Best Places Around the World to Retire in 2017 Take 5 Minutes To Read And Improve Your Writing Skills Forever

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      Last Updated on June 18, 2019

      40 Ways to Achieve Peace Of Mind and Inner Calm

      40 Ways to Achieve Peace Of Mind and Inner Calm

      Do you have racing thoughts and find yourself constantly worrying? An anxious mind is truly distressing.

      The good news is, there’re simple things you can do to calm your thought.

      If you want to achieve peace of mind and inner calm, try these 40 simple powerful ways:

      1. Listen to Music

      Studies have found that relaxing music can help kids with ADHD to be calmer and focus. But it doesn’t matter what genre of music you want to listen to, as long as you enjoy it and it makes you feel relaxed.

      Music is food for the soul and an instant way to gain peace of mind.

      2. Deep Breathing

      When you focus on your breathing, your mind’s attention is drawn to the life-enhancing process of drawing in air and exhaling.

      Take five long, deep breaths and focus on your lungs and diaphragm as you do this. This is a quick and easy way to instantly feel calm.

      Here’re also 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly).

      3. Go for a Walk

      Getting out in the fresh air can do you a world of good and promote peace of mind. Take a break and get the blood pumping – especially when the sun is shining.

      4. Enjoy Nature

      Too much concrete is never a good thing. Spending time in nature can actually make you feel younger, happier. Here’s why.

      Spend time away from the city. Listen to the birds singing and enjoy the peace and tranquility.

      5. Play with a Pet

      Having a pet to play with is a great way to de-stress. Touch is a powerful sense and can ease tension and promote peace of mind.

      6. Declutter

      Have regular clear-outs. Clutter can add to feelings of tension and a clean, clear home allows a clearer, more peaceful mind.

      Take a look at this article and learn How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster.

      7. Acceptance

      Acceptance is crucial for peace of mind. Accepting that there are few guarantees in the world and learning to tolerate uncertainty is a huge leap in the peace-of-mind stakes. Differentiate between what you can and cannot control.

      8. Mindfulness

      When we are mindful, we are fully present in the moment and acutely aware of our five senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell.

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      Engage your senses. This leaves less time for your mind to worry and think about “what ifs.”

      Here you can learn about The Power of Mindfulness.

      9. Self Love

      The more we like ourselves, the greater our peace of mind. We accept ourselves more and feel at ease in the world, no matter what situation we find ourselves in. We experience less insecurity and as a result, our inner peace is heightened.

      Start trying these 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself.

      10. Be True to You

      This is another vital component of peace of mind. When we practice congruency, we behave similarly to the way we feel and think. When the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us is the same, we are practicing congruency.

      Problems arise when we see ourselves one way (for example, as a loving mother) but behave in ways that are at odds with how we would like to see ourselves (for example, neglect our children because we are too busy). Finding ways to keep our inner ideals and the way we behave similar is one of the keys to peace of mind.

      Find out How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want.

      11. Sense of Humor

      Laugh a lot. The world is instantly a better place when you can see the funny side of life. Laughter is a great antidote for stress and releases hormones that help us relax.

      12. Love Unconditionally

      When you don’t expect anything back, it makes it easier to love without fear. When we love with conditions attached, our unmet expectations can create inner turmoil and feelings of resentment. Insecurities destroy peace of mind.

      13. Go for Regular Health Checks

      It pays to keep checks on your health and look after yourself. Letting ourselves go can indicate a lack of self-respect, and this in turn will affect the way we see the world and the way others interact with us. Be kind to yourself and make the most of what you have.

      14. Take Stock

      Every now and then, it’s a good idea to check whether you’re happy with the quality of your life. Do you like your job? Your relationship? Are you on the right track? Make adjustments if necessary to restore peace of mind.

      15. Have Goals

      This ties in with number 14. Goals keep us going in the right direction and give us a sense of purpose. Make your goals SMART: How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life

      16. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

      This relates to number 11. Learn to be more flexible in your approach to life. The more rigid our thinking is, the easier it is to experience situations that contradict our rigid ideas.

      17. Live in the Moment

      Instead of worrying about the past or panicking about the future, really enjoy the NOW. It’s all we have — this moment in time.

      When we live in the present, the concerns of the past and future can’t worry us.

      Here’re some tips on How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future.

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      18. Worry Less

      We apparently have somewhere between 30,000 – 75,000 thoughts per day, of which 80% are random “nonsense.”

      Learn to “shelve” worrying by reminding yourself that most of your worries are unproductive and remove any chance of peace of mind.

      Some advice for you who worry often: How to Worry Less: 90% of What You Fear Won’t Happen

      19. Be Assertive

      You have as much right to be here and to have an opinion as anyone else. When we become passive or submissive, we do ourselves a disservice.

      Being assertive isn’t about your needs ahead of others (aggressive) or their needs ahead of yours (passive). Rather, it is about compromise —  a “win-win” situation.

      Learn How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way.

      20. Speak Your Mind

      Don’t be afraid to say what you’re thinking. This goes hand in hand with being assertive.

      Ask for what you want in life. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

      21. Enjoy “Me-Time”

      Time out is important. A little bit of selfish time to treat yourself or do exactly as you please sets you up for taking on the constant demands of life. Balance in life is crucial.

      22. Frolic

      The free online dictionary describes the word “frolic” as:

      “To behave playfully and uninhibitedly; romp.”

      All work and no play will stress anyone out. Make time for things you enjoy. Try to inject fun into situations that aren’t particularly enjoyable. Approach life with a playful attitude. When did you last let the child in you come out to play?

      23. Let It Go

      There are some things that you just cannot change, no matter how hard you try. Know when to cut your losses and detach (Just like Elsa does!)

      When you start to let go of your past, these 10 things will happen.

      24. Resist Guilt

      Guilt is a negative emotion that removes peace of mind. Although it can motivate us (in the wrong way), it is still a toxic emotion.

      Challenge the reasons for your guilt to make sure you aren’t placing unnecessary pressure on yourself.

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      25. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

      Focusing on all the things in our lives that we are grateful for promotes peace of mind and reminds us that there are always positives. Sometimes we just have to nudge our awareness.

      Try these 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

      26. See Failure as a Learning Curve

      Failure has such negative connotations, but actually, everyone fails. How can you improve or learn anything if you never fail?

      A healthy attitude towards failure encourages bravery. It’s not you that is the failure, instead it is what you tried that failed. There is a big difference.

      27. Connect with Others

      One of the true joys of life is sharing life with others and knowing that others “get” you. We feel less alone and feeling understood allows a fantastic sense of well-being.

      28. Test Your Limits

      You’ll never know your true potential if you always stay in your comfort zone. As the old saying goes, it is better to look back and regret what you did than regret all those things you wish you’d tried.

      Learn to step out of your comfort zone: 10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear

      29. Find Positive Outlets for Negative Emotions

      Sports, online forums, like-minded people, hobbies…whatever takes your fancy. Suppressing negative emotions can lead to ill health. Release tension and frustration in a pro social way and feel a whole lot happier.

      30. Slow Down

      Why does everything need to be accomplished today? Often, we place unrealistic pressure on ourselves when there is no need to.

      Challenge your impatience, be mindful and enjoy life in the moment.

      31. Challenge Your “Shoulds” and “Musts”

      Self-induced pressure never leads to inner tranquility or peace of mind. Replace “should” with “could” and live life more on your own terms.

      32. Be Kind

      It’s free and it makes a difference. When we show kindness, it gives us an inner boost, too.

      You can try these 29 Ways to Carry Out Random Acts of Kindness Every Day.

      33. Don’t Compare

      The more we compare, the more we lose ourselves.

      Forget what everyone else is doing or saying. What do YOU want? We all have our own paths to follow, and we are all learning and going through life at our unique pace.

      Focus on your own journey and lose the stress of comparing yourself to what you think is going on in the lives of others. This is a surefire way to eliminate peace of mind.

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      34. Affirmations

      Talk to yourself positively by using affirmations. A good example of one that encourages peace of mind is: “No matter what comes my way, I will find a way to get through it.”

      Believe in yourself and remind yourself regularly that you will be okay.

      Need some more inspirations to affirm yourself? Here’re 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life.

      35. Save a Little Money as Often as You Can

      Putting money aside is always a good idea. If you can afford to save money regularly, do it. Start up a regular debit each month, and you won’t even realize it’s gone.

      36. Less Is More

      Money buys choice, but it doesn’t buy us the happiness we crave. Be content with the simpler things in life — that’s where the real long-lasting joy and peace of mind comes from.

      37. Perspective

      Always  keep your eye on the bigger picture. Will you feel this way next week, or a year from now? Will your current experience of life seem as important?

      More often than not, you will be just fine. Foster peace of mind by maintaining perspective in life.

      38. Monitor Your Thoughts

      Our thoughts can make or break our quality of life. Make sure to choose thinking that works for you.

      Talk to yourself as you would a best friend. Self-loathing serves no purpose and will undoubtedly extract joy from your life.

      39. Stand up for What You Believe In

      Whether it’s protecting animals or helping those less fortunate than yourself, follow your heart and your passion. Fight the urge to fit in and do what’s expected.

      When you change yourself to suit others, you give away your peace of mind.

      40. Get Enough Sleep

      When we’re tired and grumpy, nothing goes smoothly. Get eight hours of sleep per night and regenerate your body.

      Final Thoughts

      The most important ways to achieve peace of mind involve being true to yourself, accepting that life is uncertain and watching your thinking. Many of us mentally “torture” ourselves daily with the things we tell ourselves.

      Trust your thoughts less, pay less attention to the negative ones and focus on what you are thankful for in life, and you’ll be well on your way to inner peace of mind.

      Featured photo credit: sean Kong via unsplash.com

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