I've been writing for a long time, and still have a thirst for new tips and ways to improve my writing.
Here are 20 writing do's and don'ts every writer should know:
1. Put thought into your punctuation, notably the use of commas and periods. Your thoughts flow through the use of these two punctuation marks, put them in the wrong place and they can make your text confusing, even when the words are clear.
2. Always create and edit separately, because they're two different processes, which use different parts of the brain. Doing both at once will confuse you. Leave the job of editing til last.
3. Write regularly, daily if possible and for around 30 minutes. You'll discover ideas flow more freely, and words and language will become more familiar.
4. Learn all of the good rules of writing. Then learn how to break them.
5. Get into the habit of reading a book, and become a good reader.
6. Don't rely on your spell-checker. You're the best spell-checker.
7. Learn to accept criticism, pursue it at every given opportunity. If someone gives you a harsh comment, don't be offended, and get all upset, thank the reader for taking the time to offer it.
8. Use a thesaurus and make the best of your vocabulary.
9. Don't use unnecessary words in sentences or paragraphs. You wouldn't see needless lines in a drawing would you?
10. Routinely write 500 words and give yourself a deadline, then repeat it again and again.
11. Write simply in language that your audience understands with the most relevant words.
12. Get inspiration from the Greats, learn from the best authors and writers in history and model yourself on their writing style.
13. If you end up writing a lengthy article, don't worry about it, as long as it gets your message across. Try making your point with fewer words, even better.
14. Write frequently, always completing your work using a sensible writing schedule.
15. Model your sentences and paragraphs off another writer's, then imitate the correct structure with your own content.
16. Stay away from long sentences.
17. Write spontaneously!
18. If you're writing fiction, having a plot will help coordinate your thoughts, and add consistency to the text.
19. Refine your style by editing your older articles and blog posts.
20. But most of all just write.