This is all great advice! Here are a few things I’d add:
- Forget everything you learned in school. I was an English major and got really good at writing long papers that didn’t say much. Now my job is to deliver ideas in the fewest words possible. It takes most young writers I work with some time to break this habit.
- Develop taste. You start by subscribing to everything. The next step is identifying writers that you really enjoy reading. I try to look for people outside of content marketing and bring their style to my own work. (Two I love are Gene Weingarten and William Zinsser.)
- Learn to edit yourself. This essential skill comes later, but it’s worth starting as soon as possible. A good place to start is by identifying your “trigger words.” These are words that trigger poor writing. For example, whenever I say “in other words,” I know the preceding sentence isn’t clear enough.