• Revisit your spelling and grammar rules.  I subscribe to Daily Writing Tips emails for refreshers.  From commonly misused words to in-depth discussions on syntax, the blog covers writing rules for all levels.
  • Explore writing genres in a class.  I recently completed a six-week online course with Gotham Writers’ Workshop.  Since I majored in journalism, I took Creative Writing 101, where I received critiques from an accomplished writer on voice, generating story ideas and encouragement.  Weekly submissions stay below 500 words, so anyone with one hour can benefit.
  • Rewrite paragraphs by your favorite writers.  A well known tip I learned in college, you can learn to mimic the writing style of authors you admire by copying their work.  In my advanced writing class, we wrote for 20 minutes each day in a journal without distractions.  I didn’t become David Sedaris, but I think it aided in my improvements.
  • Become a great editor.  I’ve always heard that editing is where the real writing takes place, and it’s true.  Beyond spotting spelling and grammatical errors, sanding down copy is important.  This article from Daily Writing Tips, “8 Steps to More Concise Writing,” lists great ways to cut the fat and communicate effectively.  Additionally, waiting a couple hours and reading backwards help bring fresh eyes to the editing process.
  • Read and write, duh.  Tweets and emails don’t count.