It does not matter whether you’re writing a company-wide memo, struggling over a school assignment, or working on your first novel. Writing is never effortless. It takes work. If you are here, you already know that. Fortunately, there are a few tips to improve the writing (or post-writing) process.
I have spent much of the last decade as a freelance writer. In doing so, I had to find some tips and ways to use technology to help me through the process. This includes things like learning how to edit myself better and later find out who shared my published work. Writing might not be easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible either.
Use technology to detect typos and errors
Did you know that the spell checker was once a benchmark used to measure the speed of a computer’s operation? Its usefulness was revolutionary. Now red lines adorn every text box, and computational overhead is a distant memory. Technological tools for writing abound. If you write in Google Docs, you know how much help it can give you. Its grammar and spell checking can also burn you out.
To avoid missing out on mistakes, don’t rely on just one writing tool. Instead, combine several to better edit yourself on a first or second pass. As good as Google docs is finding conflicting times or trending proper names, I also saw that a lot of obvious mistakes were missing.
Likewise, Grammar is an amazing writing assistant that can help you in web forms or almost anywhere you find yourself typing.
The combination of several tools helps reduce errors. It’s like passing your writing through colanders of different sizes. It takes a long time to do for each writing task, but can be worth it for the important tasks.
Beyond Google Docs or Grammarly, Hemingway application is an interesting resource that will grade a piece of text and highlight the passive voice, hard-to-read sentences, and other ways your writing might
Be improved improve.
Improve your writing on your own
Editing your own handwriting is a super power. Few people are born with the skill. But it’s also not manageable if a writer stops every time an editor isn’t available. I try to get my wife to read my writing when I can, but often the timing is not practical. So a few years ago, I started using text-to-speech technology to help me proofread and improve my own writing. Hearing the words out loud, in a different voice, is a game-changer.
There are many ways to do this. The capability is native on iOS, macOS, and Windows. If you highlight a selection of text on an iPhone, one of the options on the right is “Speak.” It will start to read the selected text. On a Mac, the option is under the Edit, Speech menu item. This feature is Narrator on Windows. To activate it, go to Settings, Ease of access, then Narrator.
Beyond capturing skipped words, I use text-to-speech to discover lack of tension or information gaps. Hearing rather than seeing your writing is a great way to find what is missing. Listening allows you to be more objective in your own work. In the worst case scenario, read your work aloud to yourself, aloud, and not just by skimming over your draft. Hearing the sentences out loud will help you spot places where you inadvertently wrote an endless sentence or where you might have used different words.
Track your writing on the Internet
If you are writing for publication somewhere, be sure to follow up on your work once it has been published. Whether it’s a corporate blog post, marketing material, personal essay, fictional story, or reportage, seeing how it’s shared allows a writer to have a picture. full of the impact of his words.
Tracking social impact can quickly lead you into a world of SEO and marketing tools. It is probably best to avoid them, unless it is your domain or you are responsible for it. Try instead Muckrack’s service for tracking URLs and see their influence among journalists, if that’s something you want to keep track of. You can also use a service like CrowdTangle to see how your work is shared on social media. Its functionality has varied over the years, but it does offer some insight into link sharing on Facebook. You can also try tools like Authority, which also tracks how your work is shared across the web and social media, and collects it all into a shareable profile that you can save.