How can I write better

Learn to write better: 11 exercises + tips for perfect writing flow

Many people find it difficult to write well. It can be very helpful at work, at university, and even in everyday life. Anyone can learn by working on their vocabulary and creativity. We have 11 exercises that will help beginners as well as advanced writers overcome their creative block.

Learn to write at the correspondence school

Learn to write at the correspondence school

Writing expressive texts is a craft and can be learned as such. Our following tips and exercises are a good aid to loosening blockages and putting better texts on paper.

Anyone who also wants to professionally improve their written expression - for example to be able to put literary or journalistic projects into practice - is also well advised to take a course. There are writing courses at numerous adult education centers or at distance learning universities, the latter naturally enabling significantly more flexible learning.

The course Become an Author - Learn to Write from Germany's largest distance learning school ILS conveys extensive knowledge in 31 study books plus accompanying learning material. The course is supervised by experienced authors and editors who provide individual assistance in developing better and better texts. At the end of the 18-month advanced training course (regular time), the participants are able to develop a wide variety of text forms tailored to the target group, from short journalistic articles to several hundred page novels. Further information on the course is available free of charge from the ILS.

To the ILS

Learn to write better for work

Especially in management positions it is an advantage if you can express yourself. In this way you not only maintain seriousness, but can also adequately represent your chosen leadership style. Situations in which a safe choice of words is required are letters of recommendation, e-mails to employees or speeches. Here, good writing does not mean that you should express yourself linguistically in a particularly imaginative way, but simply know how to use the language given to you and exploit its variations.

Also as an employee, but especially as a job seeker, there are countless advantages to being able to write well. In general with a letter of application and especially with a letter of motivation, eloquence is required. The first sentence is particularly important and should encourage further reading. If you write regularly, it will be easier for you.

Learn to write better for your studies

The course requires a lot of paperwork. Whether seminar paper, internship report, bachelor thesis or master thesis - sooner or later everyone has to write. In scientific work it often happens that writer's block disrupts the flow of writing.

If you are used to writing, this can not only help you find a topic, but also ensure a good flow of reading. If you can think creatively, many ideas quickly come to mind and you can weigh up which topic is right for you. Your ability to play with words and not write too awkwardly ensures a comfortable reading flow.

Learn to write better for everyday life

The ability to write well can often be useful in everyday life. Just think about the number of times you write cards and run out of words. If you do our exercises, you will find it easier to write cards in the future. Then you will be able to write birthday wishes, love letters, Christmas greetings, New Year's Eve greetings, thanks and even funny sayings yourself in no time at all. Even bedtime stories for your children, nephews and nieces are no longer a problem.

11 exercises for better writing

Exercises to learn better writing

You can learn to write better with these exercises. It is important to be consistent in doing this and to do all exercises consciously. Good writing has innumerable benefits that extend to all possible areas of your life. The exercises are suitable for beginners as well as for writers who are writing a text or a book and who suffer from a sudden lack of creativity. Your thinking will open up and your writer's block will dissolve.

Every beginning is not that difficult ...

You are sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper. How do i start? How do I express myself? What sounds exciting? What's the first word? Forget all those questions that will only confuse you more. Just start the writing process anywhere. Forget the writing norms you learned in school. When it comes to writing, nothing needs to be meticulously thought out, in the right order, or educational. Write whatever comes to mind. It doesn't matter what order you write things down, you can always change them later. With this first sentence, which you can get from somewhere, there will be a beginning later.

Example: Use the end as the beginning

I was in college today. For free. Our seminar is canceled. The lecturer did not think it necessary to notify us. That means, I could have saved myself the unbearably stuffy and wobbly bus ride, where I was surrounded by viruses and probably got five different diseases. I could have slept in and had a cup of tea in my nice, fluffy blanket instead of waiting 20 minutes in the freezing cold for the permanently delayed bus. I could also have stayed up longer yesterday to deepen my writing practice and finally to learn this mystery called "writing". Well, too late. New day New luck.

Automatic writing

The first aid for a novice typist is automatic writing. If you have trouble concentrating, write that down. What's on your mind right now? Even if your text starts like this: “I'm sitting here and don't know what to write, so I keep thinking, think twice. What am i doing now? I look out the window and see a bird… ”sooner or later it will probably lead you to a source of inspiration. Even if you are not kissed by the muse, you have at least practiced writing.

Develop a routine

Writing shouldn't be a process that leaves you feeling uncomfortable or stressed. You shouldn't have to think five minutes before you can write a sentence. In order to really get into a flow of writing and to start writing quickly, you need routine. You develop this routine by simply writing ten minutes a day consistently. This does not mean WhatsApp messages or lists, but real formulation. Write about your emotions or try to illustrate your experiences. It doesn't matter whether you write on your computer, on your mobile phone or on a piece of paper. The content is also secondary, it is about formulating regularly and playing with words.

Try oral writing

Oral writing

Oral writing is actually a contradiction in terms. How can writing be oral? You write in writing. Yes, but by oral writing it means that you write similarly to how you speak. It is similar and not the same because you omit all filler words such as “um”, “halt” or “so” and do not have to repeat yourself. Readers are expected to pay more attention than listeners. So once you have given information, you don't have to repeat it because you fear that the other person will have forgotten it again. However, there is nothing wrong with an oral writing style.

Most readers - apart from the discerning, highly educated - enjoy it when the text is loosened up with everyday language and small thought inserts. There is a high potential for identification, so they tend to sympathize with your writing style and can better empathize with you. It depends on the genre and the readership, but the fact is that creative texts are easier to read if they are not peppered with bloated terms and long sentences. So don't be afraid of your language, which you would also use orally. The thought process is significantly shortened because you don't have to look for alternative words to replace your everyday language.

Emotions: get excited

By getting excited you can practice getting into a flow of writing. Think about a critical topic or a person that is particularly upsetting to you. You will find that suddenly many things occur to you and that in your anger you start to write faster. Forget about political correctness for a few minutes and let it all out. Nobody will ever read this little text if you don't want to. Draw on your repertoire of negative formulations and comparisons. When it comes to strong emotions, we are often more creative than we think.

Think in pictures

The real art of writing is thinking in pictures. The best way to convey what you mean to the reader is to show it. To do this, you have to open up and allow wild ideas. As a rule, comparisons help to show something clearly. The comparisons don't have to be realistic, it is just important that everyone can imagine them. For example, when you compare something to a particular scene in a particular movie, you're excluding readers who haven't seen the movie. To show you what exactly we mean, here are a few examples for you:

  • This table was just ugly. It looked like a tree stump with a saucer from my great-grandmother's tea set on it. Had they really paid that much for that? Really, it's like my four year old sister is trying to put on makeup, I just can't look.
  • I came into the living room and laughed out loud. My dog ​​was lying on the carpet like he was on a beach photoshoot. His back legs were crossed, he was stretching, and he had a front leg under his head. The look to it was the best - a bedroom look like I had never seen from any model on TV.
  • Wow, now that Margarete had said it, I can see it too. This man actually looks like a turtle: small eyes, a wrinkled neck, no hair, and his walk suggests that he is carrying something heavy on his back. But still, I love my husband.
  • My mother keeps complaining about my room: "Here it looks like the TV series‘ The Messie Team ’!" ... It's not that dirty after all. There's just dust on top of the dust and maybe a layer of dust underneath. After all, you don't see the empty returnable bottles that lie underneath him so well.

Play content differently

As you do your daily writing exercises, you should make a mental note of repeating the same content in slightly different ways. This is how you use words that you would not necessarily use in everyday language. They will become more and more solid in your vocabulary over time and it will be easier for you to find variations. You can also perspective the content differently. Do you tell the story happy or sad? Is it from the first person perspective or from another point of view? Here is an example for orientation:

  1. First-person narrator, happy:
    I went to the supermarket today and wondered why I suddenly got such a strange feeling. Something reminded me of before. Was it a smell or did I subconsciously see something that reminded me of someone? It took me a while to realize it. I was standing in front of the freezer and it suddenly fell like scales from my eyes: As a child, I always loved my grandma's pistachio ice cream. They had exactly the kind in the freezer that Grandma and I had eaten in our garden on warm days.
  2. First-person narrator, melancholy:
    Today in the supermarket I had a strange inspiration. At first I was confused, but then suddenly it occurred to me. Grandmother and I always loved eating pistachio ice cream when we were growing up. Exactly the kind that we both loved so much lay in front of me in the freezer. I remembered the wonderful summer days when we ate the ice cream with pleasure in our garden. A comfortably warm feeling developed in me, which gradually turned into sadness. I swallowed, realizing that my childhood was over and that those days would never return.
  3. Authoritative narrator, figuratively:
    A girl came into the supermarket, walked a bit and finally stopped in front of the freezer. It thought. A memory pervaded her mind and she smiled. Right in front of her, she saw the delicious pistachio ice cream that she had always eaten with her dear grandma. The memories of the good times came back. She could literally taste the ice cream, feel the sun and even heard the happy laugh of her grandma, the birds chirping and the wind rustling. For them, this feeling has become the epitome of home.

Autobiographical self-reflection

This exercise is a type of self-therapy to open your mind to creativity. She actually means nothing more than writing a diary. If you follow the exercise that says you should write ten minutes a day, you can combine it directly with reflecting on yourself.

By keeping a journal you get to know yourself better. Your experiences and memories make you who you are, also the type of writer you are. Do you avoid certain topics or emotions? Is there a person in your memoir who gets in the most often? How is your writing style Writing in a diary is also a form of self-therapy. Things can be processed that are otherwise not spoken out, but which obviously concern you. If you are open to yourself, you can be open to yourself when writing too, because writing always requires revealing a little bit of yourself.

Write without distractions

Make distraction-free writing in your regular writing practice. Otherwise you endanger your writing flow being interrupted and you lose the thread. Often you get inspiration when you don't expect it. A room with a window is particularly suitable for thinking in peace. Observe the people, the streets or the nature. What do you think of them? Even a single word on a street sign can give you a great idea for a little story. So make sure that you are not disturbed, put your cell phone away and turn off background noises such as the television. Just focus on your thoughts.

Write only three words

To train your ability to find words, the following can help: Think of a movie, series, or book and try to summarize the content in just three words. It doesn't matter what kind of words (nouns, verbs, adjectives) you write. This is how you train yourself to express yourself to the point. Thinking about the fictional content and the words themselves means that you are more experienced with them and that you can say what you mean faster. Here are some examples:

  • Titanic: Coercion, Love, Freedom.
  • Dirty Dancing: Learn, Dance, Love.
  • Game of Thrones: Ice, Fire, Death.
  • Harry Potter: Magic, School, Courage.
  • Pocahontas: Unscrupulousness, fighting, loving.

Find a topic

If you don't feel like writing about your everyday life, grab a book or magazine, close your eyes and point your finger to any page. The word your finger is on will now become your source of inspiration. Even if it's just the little word “so”. What does it remind you of In the sun or on Sundays? Worries or summer? At the end of a story that you can use as a beginning? Let your creativity run free and just start writing. If you do this exercise regularly, you will learn to nurture and channel your creativity. This is how really good stories come about.

If you'd rather get to your text step by step, you can write the word in the middle of a piece of paper and start brainstorming. A wide variety of things will come to mind when you let your mind wander for a while. When you've finished brainstorming, you can start clustering. Do some of your thoughts and written words go well together? Can you think of a story yet? Write them down together and choose a package that you then shape into a story.

Learn to write at the correspondence school

Learn to write at the correspondence school

Writing expressive texts is a craft and can be learned as such. Our following tips and exercises are a good aid to loosening blockages and putting better texts on paper.

Anyone who also wants to professionally improve their written expression - for example to be able to put literary or journalistic projects into practice - is also well advised to take a course.There are writing courses at numerous adult education centers or at distance learning universities, the latter naturally enabling significantly more flexible learning.

The course Become an Author - Learn to Write from Germany's largest distance learning school ILS conveys extensive knowledge in 31 study books plus accompanying learning material. The course is supervised by experienced authors and editors who provide individual assistance in developing better and better texts. At the end of the 18-month advanced training course (regular time), the participants are able to develop a wide variety of text forms tailored to the target group, from short journalistic articles to several hundred page novels. Further information on the course is available free of charge from the ILS.

To the ILS
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