4 Simple Writing Rules That Will Give You an Edge
By Author Darrell Rios
The basic rules of writing will tell you to focus on expressing yourself rather than impressing your audience. They will also emphasize that following all the syntax rules of writing is imperative to proving your professionalism and showcasing your skill.
They are right. However, writing rules don't have to be complex. They can be as simple as possible and remain effective. In fact, a simple guide for every piece of writing will help you develop a writing routine, which, in turn, will drive you towards writing success.
The trick is to focus on the task at hand. So, with that in mind, here are the four rules for writing an article.
The first stage is writing. Think about it; you often start your writing sessions with a blank page. But how can you write effectively? Just write. It sounds cliché, but nothing is as accurate as starting your writing step by simply focusing on writing.
Of course, we assume you already know what you want to write about at this stage: meaning, you have the topic and the content of your article in your head. Therefore, do not overthink the process. Instead, put down what you have in your mind on paper.
These are some writing rules you can use to make your writing process much more productive:
- Let go of it and merely write what is on your mind. Probably one of the best writing rules you will get is to stop overthinking and instead write flawlessly. The more you concentrate on your ideas and not the perfection of your writing, the easier the process will be for you. Besides, you can deal with the structure and the embodiment at the following stages of writing.
- Make sure your Wi-Fi is turned off to not constantly be distracted by internet notifications on your screen.
- Ensure your grammar checker is off to keep you from constantly seeing the warnings and the flashing red lines that indicate you're making a mistake. If you keep worrying about your spelling mistakes, you will not get your words out properly.
- Do not limit yourself. Remember, we mentioned that a flawless flow is necessary to get the correct information in writing. So do not place a word count limit. This also means not setting a specific time to write. Instead, you can always write when you finally have a clear space and time so that you can enjoy the process.
Once you are done with writing, you can prepare your article for the next step.
One of the most critical writing rules you will encounter in your research is the need to edit your work. To err is human. Therefore, you cannot assume that your work is entirely perfect. Chances are you'll make a spelling mistake here or there.
It is also possible to find out that you did not follow the structural rules of writing a story. As such, you must edit your work sentence by sentence until you get to the last part of your article. This is where tools like Grammarly and ProWritingAid come to shine.
These tools will help you ensure that you do not overlook any writing rules as you edit your piece of article. Start by looking for obvious mistakes like grammar errors and spelling mistakes. When you are done, begin once more from the start to the finish of your writing.
But this time, check sentence structure, syntax, and punctuation. While you must get your ground covered, you do not necessarily have to check and confirm that you've followed all the writing rules in one edit.
Repeat the process as many times as you need, and each time, check one or two small things instead of the entire writing rules. When you are finally happy with the result of your edits, start to proofread your work.
In essence, proofreading is the final editing process you take to ensure your article has no errors before you can share or publish it. That is why effective writing requires you to proofread your work. And there are writing rules to proofread your text the correct way.
The basis of proofreading requires you to:
- Find a quiet and safe space, so you do not experience any interruptions
- Segment your article into different sections to make it easier to go through
- Go through your text at a slow pace as you ensure you check every word
In some cases, you can take unusual methods to proofread your work. For instance, reading aloud works perfectly for some people, but not for others. Nonetheless, if you can read out loud, listen to the sound of your written text, and determine if you like what you hear.
Also, you can read your article in an unordered fashion. This means starting at the middle instead of the beginning and working your way back. This type of proofreading might give you a different perspective from the one you had when writing.
Moreover, others find that proofreading through printed work is much easier than using a screen. Regardless of your choice among these proofreading writing rules, ensure you take your time. If you can, get a professional to proofread your work for you.
They are likely to notice something you missed. One more thing, don't let yourself believe that at this stage, you can finish writing your article and make your submission. Instead, take one last look at your work.
The rules of writing an email might be different from the rules of writing an informal letter. But one thing you can agree on for any writing is that you cannot leave the outcome to chance. Suppose you are a gambling fanatic. In that case, you like to take chances.
But writing is not a game of checkers and chances. You must be precise at every stage of your writing process. So go back and check everything you've already edited. Confirm if you can make any improvements or additions to your text.
As part of your writing rules, always make a point to revisit your previous texts and update them with new information. This also applies to articles you posted on early dates on your websites. Make any improvements you deem necessary.
You might be surprised to find mistakes you had missed. And often, your writing skill advances with time. Therefore, revising ensures you reflect your current skill and prowess. This will also make sure that every piece of writing you have matches your level of expertise.
Writing rules are often easy to follow. And while these are only four, they are essential to ensure you concentrate on your task and write to the best of your ability. Think about it; you often find it challenging to start writing an article or a book because you overthink the writing rules you need to follow, like the correct structure for writing a job application letter.
But with these four writing rules, you can shift your focus to the right things, which will make your writing process effective. So, do you still think that you need to be strict on your writing rules, or are you sold on these strategic four? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.
About the Author
Darrell Rios is a former journalist and owner of several local shops. Now in his spare time, he writes about business and entrepreneurship, as he has extensive experience in organizing startups and business analytics. Currently, he works with book of ra.