Writing Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

Improving your writing skills is not an easy task, although it is possible to become more proficient if you are prepared to work hard at your craft.

There are many different forms of writing, but the general principles for producing quality content remain the same regardless of the particular type involved.

Like many other creative talents, it is important for writers to remember that there are always new things you can learn.

Writing lends itself to the ethos of continual personal development and keeping an open mind will help you to hone your abilities on an ongoing basis.

Wherever you are on the writing ladder, there are numerous tips you can follow which will help you become a better writer. Here are a few of our favourites.

Keep honing your craft

The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ can be applied to many skills and it definitely holds plenty of resonance where writing is concerned.

In simple terms, the more often you write, the better you will get. In some ways it can be likened to sport, with regular training proven to improve athletic performance.

Whatever your level – from casual blogger to paid journalist – writing on a daily basis will undoubtedly help to improve your skills.

Best-selling author, Jeff Goins, puts a different spin on practicing, saying that it ‘doesn’t make perfect’ but ‘makes habits’. 

“Real writers practice,” he said.“They show up, every day, without excuse or complaint (okay maybe some complaint). This is the work of a professional.

“I’m not talking about rehearsal. I’m talking about doing what musicians and boxers and lion tamers all do in order to get ready for their work. To become awesome at their crafts.”

Spend some time reading

If you want to be a great writer it naturally follows that you should be reading other people’s content on a regular basis.

This will serve to broaden your knowledge base, while also helping you to find your own voice within the myriad of different writing styles.

Famous animator, Chuck Jones, once wrote to a class of students about the importance of reading in fuelling his own creative output.

“I found my first experience with Wile E. Coyote in a whole hilarious chapter about coyotes in a book called Roughing It by Mark Twain,” he wrote.

“I found the entire romantic personality of Pepe Le Pew in a book written by Kenneth Roberts, Captain Hook.

“I found bits and pieces of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and all the others in wonderful, exciting books.”

Establish a writing routine

Although writing is a creative process, many of the leading exponents of the art believe that establishing a clear routine is the key to producing quality content.

It is advisable to work out your optimum time to write – for instance, some people do their best work in the morning, while others prefer evenings.

In the 2009 biography ‘Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King’, the best-selling author extolled the virtues of establishing a writing routine.

“There are certain things I do if I sit down to write,” he said. “I have a glass of water or a cup of tea. There’s a certain time I sit down, from 8:00 to 8:30, somewhere within that half hour every morning.

“I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places.

“The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.”

Remove yourself from distractions

If you want to get the creative juices flowing when you are writing it is important separate yourself from any outside distractions.

Working in an office environment can be hugely difficult for writers, but using headphones with a little light music playing can help to block out any background noise.

It can be a similar story at home, with disturbances by family or interruptions from technology devices making it difficult to concentrate.

Marketing strategist and business coach, Wendy Maynard, has also worked extensively as a freelance writer. She says it is imperative to eliminate distractions in order to maximise creativity.

“Either turn off your internet, email and phone — or move away from them,” she said. “Other apps you can use are Self Control (Macs) or Cold Turkey (PC) to block yourself from social media and other sites you use to waste time.

“I like Cold Turkey because you can create chunks of time for the entire week.Making a habit of unplugging for a set amount of time each day can go a long way toward accomplishment of top priorities.

Practice regular self-reflection

Taking time out to reflect on your content and thinking about ways you can improve is an integral part of the creative process.

It is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security as a writer, particularly for professionals who are churning out work on a daily basis.

Looking back on old articles and identifying areas for improvement is a great way to ensure that you haven’t slipped into any bad habits.

Author Cathi Shaw, who alsoteaches rhetoric and professional writing in the Department of Communications at Okanagan College, says regular self-reflection is vital for any writer.

“As a mature writer who regularly navigates through academic, professional and creative writing contexts with little thought, I have to remind myself that the novice to intermediate communicators I have in my classes need guidance when finding the right genre for their messages.

“This forces me to engage in rhetorical thinking about my own communication style on a regular basis. To slow down and think about how I approach these now routine writing tasks so I can share that expertise with my students. And to remember that this doesn’t come naturally to beginning writers.”

Finding The Right Job in Sports

Working in sport can be a hugely fulfilling proposition, with the sector offering a plethora of rewarding careers for people to choose from.

Many youngsters dream of being able to play sports professionally, but the reality is that only a small percentage of people actually go on to achieve their ambition.

However, the industry offers many other ways to earn a living through involvement in sport which can be just as enjoyable as being an athlete or playing on a team.

Unlike many other job sectors, the sports industry is awash with like-minded individuals who share similar passions.

This factor tends to make it a satisfying place to work, although that is not to say that a job in sport doesn’t present any difficult challenges.

Sport has evolved massively since the turn of the century, with advancements in technology revolutionising many different aspects of the industry.

Read on as we take a closer look at various types of careers in sport, how to get into the industry and what the future is likely to hold for the sports sector.

Careers in Sport

If you are thinking of embarking on a career in sport there are plenty of different routes you can take depending on your specific personal interests.

Coaching tends to be a popular choice for many people, as this can open the door into many different levels of both sport and education.

As with most career paths, there are numerous strands to this discipline including strength and conditioning, youth development, community sports coaching and many more.

If science is more your thing, areas such as sports nutrition, data analysis, sports therapy, physiotherapy, psychology and physiology are well worth considering as a career.

Sports management is another hugely popular discipline, with the sector offering numerous different job roles in the industry.

These can include sports administration, sports marketing, governance, consultancy, agency and many more fulfilling positions.

Digital media has also become an integral part of modern sport in the 21st century, with clubs and organisations at all levels offering a wide variety of career opportunities for social media specialists.

Whatever your particular passion within sport, the industry undoubtedly offers an extremely varied range of careers for people who are willing to go the extra mile to secure their dream job.

Sports Degrees

For anyone planning on pursuing a career in sport, it is important to ensure that you obtain the necessary qualifications to enter your chosen sector.

There are some fantastic courses available at universities across the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe which will open doors into the world of sport.

For instance, in the UK the University of Glasgow and Loughborough University are renowned for their excellence in sports coaching, while UCFB is highly recommended for sports business courses.

Alternatively, students in the USA considering a career in sports management would be well advised to check out the courses at Farmingdale State College and Troy University.

For courses in mainland Europe, the European Universities Central Application Support Service (EUNiCAS) is an excellent resource for anyone who is contemplating studying abroad.

It can also pay to think outside of the box when thinking about undertaking a degree in sport, particularly where the media sector is concerned.

Studying sports journalism might seem like the obvious route to take, particularly if you choose an industry accredited course at educational establishments such as the University of Central Lancashire.

However, multimedia courses at the likes of the University of Sheffield or University of Leeds provide you with a much more rounded insight into journalism in the digital age.

How to Find Sports Jobs

Getting a job in sport can be an extremely competitive business, but it is certainly possible to chart a successful long-term path into the industry.

Websites such as Careers in Sport and UK Sport are a good place to start, while search engines like Google and Yahoo provide a wealth of other possibilities.

Most reputable universities and institutes offer students the opportunity to undertake internships as part of their courses and these are undoubtedly a great route into the sports industry.

Many educational establishments have prestigious link-ups with clubs and organisations who are eager to employ new people, so if you get the opportunity to shine make sure you grab it with both hands.

It is also important to build up a ‘professional brand’ on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, regardless of your specialism.

These provide you with the chance to network with people and organisations in your chosen sector and will help you keep abreast of the latest job opportunities that arise.

Remember that these platforms are generally the first port of call for an employer when they are checking out potential new recruits, so make sure that you paint a professional picture of yourself online.

Building up your own brand on social platforms shows that you are serious about your particular passion and can be a key factor in helping you to find a job in sport.

Careers in Women’s Sports

The sports industry continues to evolve at a rapid rate and that positive trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

One of the biggest areas for growth is likely to be women’s sport, particularly with major broadcasters and sponsors increasing their levels of coverage and involvement in recent times.

As women’s clubs, leagues and competitions keep developing, the sector will require more people to fill new job roles across the sporting spectrum.

For instance, women’s football is currently on an upward curve and has plenty of different career opportunities available.

Numerous clubs in the UK, USA and Europe have coaching roles to fill at both senior and junior level, while there is also a need for qualified performance analysts.

There are openings with women’s clubs for physiotherapists, sports therapists and rehabilitation & injury specialists, along with exciting opportunities in sports science.

Psychological wellbeing practitioner, graphic designer and social media manager are amongst many other roles on offer in women’s sport.

The situation is the same across many women’s sports, making this one of the best areas to not only secure a job but also to progress within.

Careers in eSports

eSports is another burgeoning industry worth considering, with annual revenues already through the billion-dollar mark and continuing to rise.

This upward trend should spark a further increase in career opportunities, particularly in areas where sport and technology cross over.

A great example of this is Twitch, the online service which streams eSports leagues and tournaments to viewers across the world.

During the middle of May 2020, Twitch had more than 100 job opportunities available, many of which mirrored the ones you can find in traditional sports.

These included careers in broadcasting, journalism, management, marketing, advertising, sponsorship, administration and many more.

The roles generally have a slightly different emphasis on them, with eSports appealing to a different audience demographic.

As the global audience for eSports continues to rise, an increasing number of jobs will become available in the industry.

With many of these roles able to be performed on a remote basis, eSports is clearly an exciting genre to consider for jobseekers over the next few years.