For All Genres

3 Simple Exercises to Improve Your Writing Skills

How will you go about becoming the best writer you can be?

Matt Lemanski
Jan 29, 2020 · 16 min read

1. Copy writing you enjoy (slowly and by hand).

How to Copy a Text Mindfully

portrait of Benjamin Franklin
portrait of Benjamin Franklin
Portrait by Joseph Duplessis, 1778

A Brief Example

portrait of Rebecca Solnit
portrait of Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit by Sallie Dean Shatz

Analyze Your Errors

a young woman writing in a library
a young woman writing in a library
Photo by Annie Spratt

2. Create an outline (and analyze its structure).

A Simple Outline

A Better Outline

Analyze the Structure of the Text You Copied

a closet full of spiral notebooks
a closet full of spiral notebooks
Photo by Julia Joppien

3. Play with the words (and compare your results).

Retain the Meaning, but Change the Structure

Retain the Structure, but Change the Topic

Retain the Phrases, but Reorganize their Sequence

Bear in Mind

Final Thoughts

How will you go about becoming the best writer you can be?

Writeful

Get serious about writing.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium