Scary good tips from Stephen King

Even the best writers can improve, and who better to share some insight than a writer who has sold 400 million books. In his book, On Writing: A Memoir of Craft, Stephen King offers these tips:

Practice. Nobody is a born writer, so whether you are “just” writing emails or taking on a more substantial assignment, such as an ebook, you need to hone your skill with consistent and frequent practice.

Don’t choose big words when short ones will do. “One of the worst things is to dress up your writing with long words as if you’re ashamed of your short ones,” King writes. Instead, focus on being clear and direct.

Use an active voice. The passive voice sounds weak, and doesn’t tell people what you want them to do. “Fear is at the root of most bad writing,” King writes, so use a strong active voice that provides clear instruction. Example: Instead of “The perfect blog should be written like this,” use “You must follow these rules to write the perfect blog.”

— Adapted from “6 Ways Stephen King Can Improve Your Business Writing,” Aaron Haynes, Entrepreneur,