There are three main ways to develop your capabilities as a writer. The first is to get lots of practice. You can get into the habit of writing on a regular basis and seeking out feedback so that you gradually improve over time. Another thing that you can do is devote time to reading, so that you absorb other writers’ style, creativity, and techniques, with a view to incorporating various aspects of that into your own content. Last, but not least, you can approach writing as though you were a student and study up using some of the great resources available online.
While the best writers no doubt use all three techniques, in this post our goal is to help you with that third tactic specifically. To do so, we’re pointing you to some of the best compilations of resources for writers that we know.
Smashing Magazine has put together a great compilation of writing resources that are arranged thematically into seven categories: grammar and punctuation, common mistakes and problems, general writing skills, practical guides to better writing skills, copywriting blogs, tools, and other resources. Not only are most of the resources they’ve identified quite good (and still relevant six years after publishing this post), they’ve made it very easy to navigate to exactly whatever will be most helpful to you based on your specific needs. This is a great set of resources for anyone looking to improve the mechanics of their writing.
What we like about the resources that Lifehacker has gathered is that they crowdsourced them from actual writers (in fact, you can still add your own suggestions). As a result, they have compiled a rich array of interesting books, videos, and tutorials that you might not otherwise normally come across in your travels. While not as nicely organized as some resource lists, this one has some real gems so it’s worth picking through it.
Harvard’s writing center has a number of useful resources that you may want to check out. While clearly very academic in nature (and at times Harvard-centric), the site still offers plenty of valuable advice that you can adapt to any kind of writing. We’ve found the section on strategies for writing essays particularly helpful (and relatable to writing any piece of content where you’re trying to persuade your audience). Plus, should you ever need to write for an academic audience or about a particular academic discipline, this is definitely the place to come.
In this guest post for the Content Marketing Institute, author Mike Murray provides an array of real-life examples of compelling content and then offers tips on how to write like a content marketer. We like this post because it moves past the mechanics of good writing and into how to create content that’s effective for marketing. Plus, since it’s jam packed with dynamic examples, it’s an enjoyable read that you can easily apply to your own work.
The Open Education Database has put together a vast list of resources aimed at making writers’ lives easier. This is certainly the most comprehensive collection of resources we’ve found and, like Smashing Magazine’s, it’s well organized and easy to navigate. Here you’ll find links to sites with information for all kinds of writers as well as practical resources on everything from grammar and citations to writing services and software, professional organizations, and business and legal matters. The site goes deep, so if you’re after something very specific, this may be a great place to look.
We hope that you find these resources useful. Like anything, you need to comb through them and identify what’s most relevant for you and your needs. That said, we’re impressed with the caliber of all of this content and are confident that if you’re looking for writing resources, this is an excellent place to start!