Write your way to success: 10 tips on writing

As we discussed in the previous post (Music, movies, books…but where is writing?) writing seems to be avoided and, therefore, neglected. Yet, more than ever we are writing text messages, emails, comments, Facebook, Twitter and so on. The problem is that we are not using these tools to practice writing in English or whatever other languages we may be learning.

Let’s face it. The development of a skill feels awkward in the early stages and very often the thought of beginning something is sufficient to shut us off. The discouragement takes place and suddenly we come up with numerous reasons to leave the new learning behind.

Tire suas dúvidas sobre os tempos verbais, baixe um guia grátis da Englishtown: Guia de Tempos Verbais em Inglês. Ele contém um resumo bem estruturado para revisar os conceitos que você aprendeu na escola. Clique aqui e saiba como baixar!

By using the possibilities and opportunities around, we can achieve any goals. It just takes a bit of planning and reminding yourself that the initial steps mean you are achieving what you desire to accomplish.

Here are some tips to help you with your writing life:

1. Do not worry with the order

There are several authors who start their writing with the conclusion. You do not need to have the start all organised and structured in your head. Put down on paper whatever comes to you (do some brainstorming) and then start linking things. The beginning will come naturally.

2. Write if you can

I am so used to writing and leaving comments everywhere that one day I was looking up some contents on Wikipedia (after reading this website check other sources) and after the reading I scrolled down the screen to leave a comment! There is no such possibility there, but do you see my point? If you can write, do it. Leave a message or a comment. You might be thinking about a good expression or a nice piece of text to share with others. Perhaps you simply enjoyed the reading and want to encourage the author. If you do not write, it ends up being just a good idea. Produce your own learning by putting thoughts into practice.

3. Clarify doubts

Before writing something about which you are uncertain, clarify it in your mind. Ask questions, do research. We live in a world where we are bombarded with information all the time. It may be difficult to stop information bombarding your mind, but if you filter and concentrate on what is the most important for you, it will be easier. Do not allow doubts to persist. Doubts are like pains; they must be investigated.

4. Read and check information

There is no writing without reading. Read widely, but bear in mind that not all sources are trustworthy. We cannot trust any websites (you can trust this one; it is well looked after!) and several quotations do not correspond to the author mentioned.

5. Draft your way to perfection

If you are able, draft any writing, especially those that will be assessed. By drafting, you make certain that you correct your mistakes, at least the obvious ones. Self-correction is very important when learning another language.

6. Write the way you know it

If you are not certain of the entire sentence you desire to construct, write the phrase which you do know. Then check it on the internet. Sometimes I google part of a sentence to find out other endings and possibilities. Many people think the same things all the time.

7. Use writing to reinforce learning

Everything that reading, speaking and listening do for you can be reinforced by just writing down the contents. Do you know a new song? Write about it. Have you read a good article? Comment upon it. Have you heard an interesting dialogue or talked to someone? Why not think of what was said and what can be improved and write about it?

8. Make notes

Do not trust your memory. You know what I am talking about. If you want to ring someone you either type their phone number in your mobile or write it down for later. You register in some way apart from your memory. Make notes about what is interesting or important for you.

9. Reach for help

Ask others for feedback on your writing. Apart from spotting mistakes, they may add something of great value and give you good insights into your own text. Do not be afraid of disturbing others. Someone told me once, ‘Erica, if you want to succeed in life, do not be afraid of disturbing others.’ That was a great piece of advice that I always think of when I need or want something.

10. Creative writing

Write for fun! You do not need to write only for the course you are doing (articles, reviews, letters etc.) or for work purposes. That makes writing an obligation and a task with which you have to deal. Keep a journal or small notes about interesting facts or new information. Make up stories. Start a blog. Give wings to your imagination.

Writing is also recommended as a therapeutic activity!

Happy writing!

Aplicativo para Ampliar o Vocabulário

Você tem dificuldade para se lembrar das palavras, phrasal verbs e expressões em inglês? Conheça o "Meu Vocabulário: Um aplicativo para ampliar o seu vocabulário em inglês" e veja como nossa equipe resolveu esse problema definitivamente.

Receba mais dicas de inglês como esta por E-mail, Twitter, RSS feed ou Facebook.

32.jpg

Erica De Monaco Lowry

Erica De Monaco Lowry has been living in Ireland since 2008. She is a teacher, an interpreter, a translator, a tour guide and an insatiable learner. Her favorite pastimes include reading, travelling, socialising and catching up with her family.

42 comentários

  • 10/01/13  
    Paulo diz: 1

    I finished my english classes last year and I had always complained about how little we write during the course. It seems that writing is less important than listening, speaking and reading (and I have been in two different schools). Anyway, I really liked this post! Congrats =)

    • 10/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Unfortunately, correcting writing demands a lot and, as a result, many avoid working on this skill in English courses. Also, students want to speak and then there’s a huge pressure on teachers to work on this skill more than on others. Even future teachers who are preparing for the profession don’t write as much as they should. Otherwise, we would see this area covered more often. There is also another problem: lots of learners are taught that in order to write they need to have great grammar. This is an obstacle to develop one’s writing skills since the early stages of learning. But you know that writing is important! All the best in your writing practice.

  • 10/01/13  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 2

    What a great piece of writing, Erica! Congrats!

    • 10/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thank you, João!

  • 10/01/13  
    Fabricio diz: 3

    I practice my writing on chats , I learn a lot of new expressions every time that I chat,
    I liked your tip, I will comment upon the articles that I read.

    • 10/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Great stuff, Fabricio. Yes, comment away! :-)

  • 10/01/13  
    Kassio diz: 4

    I loved! I also think that writing is very important, maybe crucial because writing help us to fix more vocabulary in our heads. Congrats Érica Monaco!

    • 10/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Yes, Kassio. All the vocabulary we need can be recalled more easily if we keep writing the words we learn.

  • 10/01/13  
    Fabiano Almeida diz: 5

    Erica, you were amazing when you thought about the idea to write this post. I’m a system analyst and in my company I always try to show some ideas you showed above. When I read something like its post, I insist to share with all my colleagues because I really think that the best way to learn English is practicing: reading, listening, speaking and writing. However, one thing is connected to other, i.e., you get speak well after you listen so much; you get write nicely after read a lot of articles, web sites, books… That’s the message I want to show them. It’s difficult, because we usually are lazy, in general, for me. So, thank you so much for this post. Congratulations!

    • 11/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks, Fabiano! It can be indeed hard work to convince people to take up writing. Actually, we only show benefits and offer tips, they have to convince themselves that their English needs a step further. I wish you all the success in your company helping people write more. Hope everyone there will give it a go. See you.

  • 10/01/13  
    Mônica diz: 6

    great ;)

  • 11/01/13  
    William diz: 7

    I agree with you Erica, some estudents forget the importance of writting but it’s essential for a good learning.
    If you want speak well, you need to write well.
    Best regards Erica!!!!

    • 11/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      William, thanks for your comment. I know many cases of people who don’t write and have brilliant English. Most of them read a lot and interact with others and expose themselves through different medias (interaction is the best tip to speak well). I do believe that writing helps speaking when it comes to producing vocabulary (e.g. you become more confident with different words), but Ianguage is creative and multifaceted and, thanks to God, those who can’t or aren’t encouraged to take up writing, can still succeed in speaking. The greatest aspect of writing is how it enables you to reinforce learning frm other skills. But yes, to be an all-round learner you can’t neglect writing! :-)

  • 11/01/13  
    Alexandre Gnutzmann diz: 8

    I’ve never thought about that. I love to reading but i almost never write. Thanks for this tip.

    • 11/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re welcome, Alexandre.

  • 11/01/13  
    Pedro Alexandre diz: 9

    Thanks for your well-written articles with so many practical items. Please keep on doing your good job. Be sure we benefit from it.
    Cheers

    • 11/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks, Pedro. It’s great to know that the articles are doing their job! :-)

  • 11/01/13  
    Paty diz: 10

    Hi Erica,
    Thank you for your tips!! I really enjoyed it. It’s true that we don’t want to write because we are afraid of making mistakes, but when we start, it’s great to be able to write. I’m trying to improve my writing skills and your post was great to me. I’ve been studying English for a long time and when I’ve tried to write I had a bad surprise… I couldn’t. Now, I’m trying to change that. That is my first comment.

    • 12/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Paty, you can definitely write! It’s visible. I’m glad you’ve chosen this article as a kick-starter to your writing practice. May it be the first of many. :-)

  • 11/01/13  
    Gerson Carvalho Santos diz: 11

    This article is perhaps the best I’ve heard lately. I sure it’ll improve my writings skills. A lot of thanks.

    • 12/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re very welcome, Gerson. :-)

  • 11/01/13  
    celma moraes diz: 12

    I’m braziliam. l loved this article cause it was wonderful to improve my english writings. Thanks a lot!

    • 12/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Great to hear that, Celma. :-)

  • 11/01/13  
    marcelo marcal diz: 13

    Hello,

    Thanks for your tips, Its is very important for my learn.

    • 12/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re welcome, Marcelo.

  • 12/01/13  
    Teilor diz: 14

    For who likes the art of writing I recommend to read this book:
    “A arte de escrever” of Arthur Schopenhauer. in this site there is a good review about it:
    http://cursodeleitura.com/redacoes-e-resumos/filosofia/a-arte-de-escrever.php

    Ericam your post are awesome!

    • 13/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Teilor. The book sounds interesting. Thanks for your comment and suggestion. :-)

  • 13/01/13  
    Nancy diz: 15

    Erica, some time ago I used to be writing about something of my interest, but now I have not been doing it. Your post was excellent and very useful for all, mainly for me.
    Thanks so much.

  • 14/01/13  
    Stan diz: 16

    nice and useful article…
    tks for tips, help and incentive!!!!
    take care!!!

    • 15/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re welcome, Stan. :-)

  • 14/01/13  
    Beginner diz: 17

    This article gonna help me very much so that I learn more.

    Thank you very much!

    • 15/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re very welcome. What’s your name?

  • 15/01/13  
    Renan diz: 18

    Thank you, good article.
    Now, I’ll comment every post, cuz the best way to learn is trying.

    • 15/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      It’s a good thng indeed, Renan. Thanks for your comment. :-)

  • 15/01/13  
    Fábio diz: 19

    Your articles about writing are very good. Thanks for your tips and incentive!

    • 16/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re very welcome, Fabio.

  • 16/01/13  
    Felipe diz: 20

    OMG….A long time ago , I hadn’t read a article so good like this!
    Really, I agree with your option in almost everything, it’s very important, read and write, because is this time that we can improve our vocabulary

    • 21/01/13  
      Erica diz:

      Thank you, Felipe. It is about time we improved our vocabulary. You’re right!. :-)

  • 17/01/13  
    Bruno diz: 21

    Thanks for your tips, Erica! I like so much your details about writing.

    • 21/01/13  
      Erica diz:

      You’re very welcome, Bruno. :-)

  • 01/02/13  
    lucas Cabral diz: 22

    You’re amazing! I love too much your tips, thanks a lot for help me. hugs!

    • 05/02/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re welcome, Lucas. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the tips. :-)