3 Tools that’ll Improve Your Writing Skills (Seriously!)
Be a better writer than you are now.
If I ask you — Is writing a craft or an art? What would be your answer?
Most people would say, writing is an art (I guess). But is it so?
Here, see the difference between art and craft I found on Google,
Art is described as an unstructured and open-ended form of work; that expresses emotions, feelings, and vision. Craft denotes a form of work, involving the creation of physical objects, by the use of hands and brain.
It makes more sense now. My definition of writing would be,
Writing is an art in the form of a craft.
That sounds nice, right!
The second question — What is the best way to improve your craft?
Practice, practice, and practice.
It’s the simple answer.
But can you imagine a sculptor sculpting statutes without his hammer and chisels; a potter crafting pots without his pottery wheel; or a painter painting without his brush and colors?
No. It can’t be.
Similarly, how do you expect a writer, who is basically practicing a craft, to perform his job without his tools?
A writer needs his tools just like a sculptor needs his hammer; a painter his brush, or a potter his pottery wheel.
So if you want to be a writer, a master in his craft, you need to have some important tools you can use to improve your craft.
I’m not talking about your laptop or PC or wherever you write. I’m talking about tools that are available online that’ll hone your writing skills and make you a better writer than you are now. They save your time too.
Here are the tools that I personally use to improve my writing skills.
I first heard about Grammarly when I was working as a content writer intern. Since then, I haven’t stopped using it. If you are a serious writer, I strongly recommend you to use Grammarly. This software literally saves you a lot of time looking for spelling mistakes, you may not find.
Grammarly will flag each error with a red line prompting you to consider it. You can either choose to correct it or leave it (if you feel Grammarly isn’t correct).
The best way to use Grammarly is to download the Chrome extension. Whenever you’re writing anything on the internet, whether it’s Medium, a blog, or an email, it’ll check each of them for errors.
It is free to use; however, a premium version is also available that can check plagiarism, fluency, tone, and a lot of other improvements. The free version can only check spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
If you too suffer from the problem of writing constantly in a passive voice (which is a sin in writing), you should definitely use the Hemingway Editor. It helped me get rid of this problem and it’ll help you too.
Hemingway Editor is available in two versions — Desktop App and Web App.
The desktop app is premium, so you have to buy it.
The Web app is free to use. The only problem is you can’t save your written articles. Once you close the tab, it’ll be gone forever.
That’s why I don’t use Hemingway Editor to write directly. I paste the article from MS Word (where I write) and look for errors.
The editor can help you find the number of times a passive voice is used (in green mark), the number of adverbs used (in blue mark), phrases with similar meanings (in pink mark), hard to read sentences (in yellow mark), and very hard to read sentences (in red mark).
Though Grammarly can proofread your articles, it still misses out on punctuations and tense sometimes. That’s why I needed a proofreader that could check for my errors. So I found this, Writer, an online proofreader that you should try.
Like the other tools, it too has a premium version which can help you look at bigger problems. Since the proofreading tool is free, I didn’t buy the premium version.
The Writer works in the same way as Grammarly. It will check for errors and mark them with a red underline. However, I use Writer to find sentences that are missing punctuations and need tense improvement.
If you can solve these issues in your article, I can bet your writing will be more fluent than it ever was.
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