Talking about practice? In writing as in sports: Yes
Becoming a better writer is just like anything else in life. The more time you take to perfect your skill, the better you will get. I know some people are naturally gifted and can do whatever they want when they want, but even having that special ability isn’t going to be enough.
You need to really dedicate an undefined amount of time to really take that next step.
When I started writing for Bleacher Report two years ago, I was writing all the time. Whether it was part of the Advanced Program in Sports Media, my Featured Columnist duties, a school paper or just putting words into a word processor for practice, I was constantly writing.
I knew the more time I took to understand the art of structuring a piece of content, not only would I become better, but it would also become easier.
Writing will not just come naturally. Sure, you can take classes, but nothing will get you to the next level more than writing itself. Apply everything you have learned, whether it’s feedback from an editor, something you once heard a teacher say or just something you have picked up along the way.
As I have taken on greater roles within Bleacher Report, occasionally working with new writers, I always tell them the same thing when they send me an article: Start it over.
Whether it’s a great piece or it really needs work, just start over. And when I say that, I don’t mean throw away the original. Rewrite the piece and then compare the two.
The reason I recommend this is because when you write that first piece, you are usually compiling facts and information. Things get a bit too stiff, and what comes out on the page is not always an enjoyable read.
When you rewrite it, you know the facts already and can put together a piece of content that presents the information in an enjoyable way.
Just like in sports: You need practice to succeed when game time comes around.
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Jeff Chase was a member of of the Advanced Program in Sports Media in 2011 and is now Bleacher Report’s Community Moderator. Follow him on Twitter @Real_Jeff_Chase. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One Thing You Need to Know is a series in which we ask members of the Bleacher Report Advanced Program in Sports Media to write about just that: One thing they’ve learned that they would pass along to other aspiring writers.