“No one was born a writer.

You read, you learn, you improve – that’s how it works.”


Writing has become as much a part of our daily life as eating or sleeping – whether it is essays for school or emails for work, creative texts at home or as little as a simple text message to our friends. 

While the latter admittedly does not require any particular skills, there certainly are ways to improve our writing style concerning the former matters.

In this blog post I would like to share the five tips that – regardless of which language I am sticking with – continually help me to improve that very writing style.

Starting simple, let’s get straight to the first point:


  1. Know your genre and your audience

This first tip may seem way to obvious to even be listed here, yet it is being neglected far too often! It is crucial to not only know what sort of text you are writing (an essay, a story, …), but to also consider whom it is directed at, as this will determine the structure as well as the wording that should preferably be drawn on.

Back in the days when I went to high school, for instance, penning one essay after another, I always made sure to use the structure as well as the thematically fitting vocabulary our teacher taught us in class – after all, he’d be the one grading the exam paper. However, I never missed a chance to further include some additional elevated terms I had committed to memory beforehand in order to make my essay stand out from the others and evince that little extra effort I put into studying (looking back at my grades, I guess it worked! ^^).

Contrary to that, blog articles, informational captions on Instagram etc. provide a considerably higher degree of freedom in terms of the author’s writing style. Nonetheless, it would probably not hurt to still consider the favoured audience: As the main goal usually is to make the content accessible and comprehensible for as many people as possible, it would make sense to paraphrase technical terms or explain and define them in advance so everybody is actually in a position to understand what you are trying to get across.

When it comes to books, your word pool should obviously fit the place and time the story is set in, plus, it would undoubtedly be advantageous to be au fait with the dramaturgical patterns of your chosen genre.


2. Be intrigued to intrigue

Before you start drafting, there is one more thing you need to do, which substantially separates good texts from very good texts: Regardless of whether you actually are into the topic you are supposed to write about or not – hype yourself up for it! Because the moment the audience realises that you, in fact, do not give a flying rat’s fart about what you have written, you lost them.

If you want to enthuse your readers, be enthused first. Or, to put it more metaphorical: A fire cannot emit sparks if it is not alight to begin with.

The product descriptions I am writing at my current employer’s behest these days serve as an excellent example for this point: Dryly stating a handful of facts about the products will not be enough to convince any customers to purchase them. But the moment I write as if I was a knowledgeable subject matter expert, delighted and impressed by the company’s products and services, the descriptions obtain the due persuasiveness they were definitely lacking beforehand.


3. No rambling, no repetitions, no filler words

While I have all too often stumbled upon the advice to write as I speak in order to make my texts sound more fluent and natural, I do not exactly deem that the best counsel.

But how come?

When speaking, all of us ramble or repeat ourselves at some point, use slang, screw grammar and fix empty spaces with filler words – things we want to avoid by all means when writing!

As someone who adores poetry and poesy, witty puns and some people’s aptitude to play with language, I love lengthy, filigreed descriptions. At some point, however, one should eventually get to the point and stop beating around the bush. If not, one will only not only start to unnecessarily repeat oneself, but the readers will ultimately be tired of the vast amount of words wasted on a single statement, too. 

Another reason for you to write as you would write and not as you would speak is the choices of words you make in the process, which seamlessly leads us to my next point:


4. Don’t be afraid to use the dictionary

Using the dictionary is often connoted with not being able to speak a language properly. Let me tell you though: German is my mother tongue and even when writing German texts, I still grab a dictionary every now and then to search for synonyms that might fit better in the given context than the ones I have in mind at that moment. The same obviously goes for English drafts.

It does not only prevent you from using the same words and phrases over and over again, it also makes your writing sound more elevated (when done correctly). Watch out though: If you overdo it, it might just backfire and make your texts sound rather ridiculous than sophisticated.

Yet another great side-effect of using a dictionary from time to time is that you will gradually expand your active vocabulary and thereby simultaneously improve your writing and understanding for the language.

I bet that least half of the vocabulary I now know is only imprinted in my memory because I looked it up sometime and considered it useful enough to learn by heart.


5. Read, read, read

Sorry to all of my nonreaders out there – though anybody who despises reading probably didn’t make it here –, but the most efficient way to improve your writing as fast as possible is to simply read what others wrote before you.

By the time I started reading not only German but also English novels, I became aware of so many subtleties of the English language and grammar structures I had not known before that it almost felt as if I was learning the language from scratch once more. But even though I had a rocky start, it got easier with every novel I read – so much so that I am delightedly indulging in Jane Austen’s work these days.

Of course I am not saying that my writing was magically brought to another level simply because I could now understand more complex English novels. I still make mistakes – many more than I would like to –, but my general understanding for the language has increased to an extent that makes reading and writing in English feel a lot easier, more comfortable and so much more natural by now. 

Trust me: Reading was, is, and will always be the number one method to enhance your language skills.


And that’s it – those were my top five tips to improve your writing style. 

I hope I could give you some useful impulses and ideas and maybe even help some of you out for real. 

If there is any topic you want me to write about next or if you need a piece of advice on any issue, hit me up via Instagram or email – I’d love to lend an ear ^^


Hopefully we’ll read of each other again!

xx Jeannine