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I want to be a full-time writer. How can I strengthen my English writing skills?


1. First of all, congratulations on wanting to become a writer. It's an exciting occupation and very rewarding.

As I tell all my students, if you want to become a better writer, you must first become an avid reader. The more you read, the more you'll understand the dynamics of sentence structure, character development, and plot flow.

If English is not your primary language but it's the language in which you wish to write, read books written in English. For now, bypass English literary classics (the works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Austin, etc.). Although these are some of the best books ever written, there's a big difference between "old" English and "new" English. Read books by more contemporary authors (new English) such as Steven King, E. Annie Proulx, John Green, and Jack London.

Get out a pen and paper and write a short story—and do so in English. Until you're more confident in your English writing skills, avoid using a computer keyboard when you write. Putting pen to paper requires us to use a part of our brain that ignites both critical thinking and creativity—both essential when it comes to writing. Don't worry if your finished story isn't perfect (it most likely won't be). My first stories were a mess, but I kept practicing and doing everything I could to improve my writing skills. It paid off in the long run.

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