Follow these five tips to take your writing from so-so to outstanding:
1. Weed out unnecessary language. Write your entire piece, and then delete the first and last paragraphs. The introduction often takes too long to build up to the meat of the piece, and the conclusion typically just repeats the introduction. Often, you can omit them altogether.
2. Don’t stop writing until you are ready to publish the piece. While you are in the zone, keep writing, editing and tweaking until you feel ready to share the piece with the world, but …
3. Do sleep on it. Once you think you have finished, if possible, set it aside for 24 hours. Then come back to it for a final proof.
4. Read high-level content before you write. Reading really strong or complex writing will elevate your game.
5. Don’t write when you are upset with someone. If you do, that person becomes your audience, and your anger and emotions may unintentionally seep out.
— Adapted from “33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer,” James Altucher, www.jamesaltucher.com.