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6 bad writing habits you should leave from today

By weeding out these unhealthy practices, you will become not only a better writer but also be way more productive. 

Narender Phartyal
31st Jul 2018
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Image Credit: Beyond Bylines

Image Credit: Beyond Bylines

Writing is an art, and each writer has a different writing style. You don’t need to have a grammar pedantry syndrome to produce good content. However, there are some bad writing habits that you need to stamp out from your daily routine, otherwise, your career could suffer badly. Like many other bad habits, poor writing practices get creep up on your life, but they are hard to get rid of. If you want to become a successful writer, it’s the right time to leave these bad writing habits and hone your skills.

#1 Writing without having a clear outline in mind

Before you start writing, you must have a clear outline in mind. Jumping straight into your work without outlining first could get you stuck in the middle. Not only will your content suck, but you may also end up wasting hours in developing your content. Before writing a single word, it is always considered wise to ask some questions from yourself: “what message am I trying to convey to my audience? What writing tone will I adopt? Who is my targeted audience? What specific issues will I be addressing?” After this you must create a framework of your content…. specifically the way you articulate your thoughts, the subheadings and bullets you will use in your content and the message you will deliver via those bullet points and subheads. Once your framework is ready, developing the content will become quite easier. 

#2 Writing uber long paragraphs

The way people read books is completely different from the way people read the web content. According to eye-tracking studies and UX research, most of the people just skim through the web content. They don’t have enough time to read an entire article. Instead, what they do is quick scan. Their eyes keep searching for the key phrases, headings, subheading, bullet points, and glancing at the images. It is always considered wise to create short paragraphs of two to three sentences for your readers to scan the content with ease. 

#3 Editing while writing

Many writers edit their work while they write. If a sentence sounds off, they pause for a while, delete that sentence and rewrite it again. However, rewriting that sentence for a couple of times messes with the flow of the paragraph, and also it hampers your daily productivity. So, stop doing this…right away!

If you want to improve your daily productivity, you need to write freely without pausing to fix anything until you’ve finished your first draft. Simply get the message out, and once your first draft gets completed, scan the entire content and make necessary changes as required. By doing this, you will finish your initial writing without wasting much time. Plus, it gives you more time for making the required changes.

#4 Neglecting to read others work

Writing for a living without regularly reading articles, books, case studies, and other forms of content is like being a chef without ever tasting others cuisine. If you want to hone your skills, you must read others work as well. By exploring the writing of other good writers, you will find not only new writing techniques, rhetorical style, and powerful turns of phrase, but it also sharpens your “ear” for flow and rhythm. 

#5 Not writing the way you talk

The best way to connect with your audience is writing the way you talk. This makes it easy for them to comprehend what you are trying to convey.

#6 Overuse of buzzwords and slangs

A common mistake committed by all novice writers is sprinkling their content with buzzwords and slangs. Though the use of buzzwords make you sound cool and smart, it won't help your readers understand your message.

Here are a few examples of buzzwords that you should probably stop using:

• Paradigm-shifting

• Cutting-Edge

• Leverage

• Revolutionary

• Dynamic

• Driven

• Track Record

The Bottom Line

If you want to become a successful writer, you need to get rid of these bad habits that are ruining your daily productivity. By eliminating these bad habits from your daily routine, your writing will eventually improve and your success as a writer will be astounding.

Can you think of any other bad writing habits that should be included in this post? Kindly let me know in the comments below. 

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