It does not matter whether you’re writing an appointment for the whole society, fighting for a school assignment, or working on your first novel. Writing is never effortless. It takes work. If you’re here, you already know it. Fortunately, there are a few hacks to improve the writing (or post-writing) process.
I have spent much of the last few decades as a freelance writer. In doing so, I had to invent tricks and ways to use technology to help me along the way. This includes things like learning how to edit myself better to find the one who shared my published work later. Writing may not be easy, but it also needs to be impossible.
Use Technology to Catch Typos and Errors
Did you know that spell checking was once a reference point used to measure the speed of a computer that could run? Its usefulness has been revolutionary. Now the red lines add to each text box and the computational overhead is a distant memory. Technical tools for writing abound. If you write in Google Docs, you know the assistance it can provide. Their grammar and spelling checks can also be blunt.
To avoid making mistakes, don’t rely on a single writing tool. Instead, join more to better edit yourself on a first or second step. How good Google Docs is to find opposing times or trends of proper names, I have also seen them miss many obvious errors.
Similarly, Grammatically it’s an amazing writing assistant that can have your back in web forms or almost anywhere you find yourself writing.
The combination of several tools helps to restrict mistakes. It’s like putting your writing through filters of different sizes. This takes a lot of time to complete for each writing mission, but can be worth it for important ones.
Beyond Google Docs or Grammatically, App Hemingway is a correct resource that will classify a piece of text and signal passive voice, difficult-to-read sentences, and other ways in which your writing could
be improved improve.
Improve Your Scripture by You
Modifying your own script is a superpower. Few people are born with the ability. But it’s also unmanageable if a writer stops every time an editor isn’t available. I try to make my wife read my writings when I can, but often the timing isn’t practical. So a few years ago I started using voice text technology to help me correct and improve my own writing. Hearing the words out loud, in a different voice, changes the game.
There are several ways to do this. The capability is native on iOS, macOS and Windows. If you highlight a selection of text on an iPhone, one of the options on the right is “Speak”. Start reading the selected text. On a Mac, the option lives under the Edit, Speech menu item. This feature is Narrator in Windows. To turn it on, go to Settings, Ease of Access, and then Narrator.
Beyond skipping skipped words, I use text-to-speech to discover lack of tension or informational forums. Listening instead to seeing your writing is a great way to find what is missing. Listening makes it easier to be more objective with your work. The worst case scenario, read your work aloud to yourself – completely aloud, not just shaking your desk. Listening to the sentences aloud will help you capture places where you have inadvertently written a run-on sentence or where you might have used different words.
Track Your Writing On The Internet
If you write for the publication somewhere, be sure to follow your work after it grows. Whether it’s a company blog post, marketing materials, personal essays, fiction stories, or reported journalism, seeing how it’s shared allows a writer to have a complete picture of the impact of his or her words.
Tracking social impact can quickly lead to a world of SEO and marketing tools. It’s probably best to avoid those unless it’s your field, or you’re responsible for those in your job. Instead, try it Muckrack service for tracking URLs and see its influence among journalists, if it’s something you want to follow. You can also use a service like this CrowdTangle to see how your work is shared on social media. Its functionality has changed over the years, but it offers an insight into the sharing of links on Facebook. You can also try tools like Author, which also tracks how your work is shared around the web and on social media, and collects it all into a shareable profile for you to backup.