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Michael Tharrington for The DEV Team

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Discussion of the Week: "I suck at writing!"

In this weekly roundup, we highlight what we believe to be the most thoughtful, helpful, and/or interesting discussion over the past week! Though we are strong believers in healthy and respectful debate, we typically try to choose discussions that are positive and avoid those that are overly contentious.

Any folks whose articles we feature here will be rewarded with our Discussion of the Week badge. ✨

The Discussion of the Week badge. It includes a roll of thread inside a speech bubble. The thread is a reference to comment threads.

Now that y'all understand the flow, let's go! 🏃💨

The Discussion of the Week

This week's featured discussion goes to @twomodone for their first-time post "I suck at writing!"

Despite the self-deprecating title, @twomodone (aka Abdelrahman) garnered some major attention and started up a really wonderful convo full of thoughtful advice from various folks across the community.

To back up just a bit, Abdelrahman opened their post with a simple prompt:

Non-native English speakers, how did you manage to improve your writing? I want to write blogs, tweets, and even comments, but I don't think that I am that good at writing, and I don't know how to improve it.

It was really cool to see so many folks hop in with guidance and encouragement. Notably, there were some fellow non-native English speakers who hopped in to acknowledge just how relatable this topic is. Overall, it was just uplifting to see so many folks piping in positivity. I'll drop a few notable comments below.

Long-time DEV author, @grahamthedev weighed in with some good practical advice and encouragement:

the advice is simple:

  1. write
  2. release
  3. re-read it a week later and see what you would improve
  4. repeat, taking what you have learned into the next article.

Just start, it takes about 20 articles before you will see much traffic / interaction anyway, so that gives you plenty of time to improve your writing before you even have an audience (and bear that in mind, the first few articles you write are not likely to get many views, and that is OK!)

Good luck and welcome to DEV. 💗

Meanwhile @danielrendox brought up a good technique he uses for getting raw thoughts out first and then honing them later:

It took me a while to write something because my thoughts were in mess and I tried to structure them in my mind before I would write something. At one point, I just decided to write my thoughts as they are even though they were not beautiful in words and didn't make much sense. And then, after I'd written that on paper, I would refactor this text.

You can also use ChatGPT to make it sound better. But still refactor the text afterward because it usually adds lots of "intelligent words" and makes the text sound like it comes from AI, not from your heart.

Further down, @syxaxis also had some strong advice for improvement, encouraging us to critically think about works we admire and of course practice, practice, practice.

Read other examples and posts from people you like and look for their "hook", what makes those posts special and interesting. I used to write a lot of posts on Facebook about my photography along with my photos. I would post 2-3 times a week and during 2 years of posting people started paying attention to me. Eventually my posts and my photos attracted a publisher who contacted me about writing a photography as they like my photos and my writing style. 5 years of hard work and I published my first book in 2019 and I'm working on my second book, it is all just a hobby for me and I earn a nice sum of money every month from my book sales.

So my advice is to keep reading and keep writing. Try find a style for your writing, try to find something that people enjoy about you and your posst and people will start to come to you. Writing is creative, just like painting, drawing, photography and even coding, so it simply takes lots of practice and the more you practice the better you will become at something. Don't simply write 5 posts and think you will be perfect, it will take many months and several posts every week but you will get start to get better.

Good luck.

And of course, @lnahrf reminds us about Grammarly:

Grammarly helps a lot if you're worried about punctuation and grammar mistakes.

That's right! Ain't nothing wrong with reaching for a tool here!

The advice keeps on flowing within the discussion. If you've got writing advice or some encouraging word to share with an aspiring writer, hop on in there. It's not too late to get your word in!

What's your pick for the Discussion of the Week?

The DEV Community is particularly special because of the kind, thoughtful, helpful, and entertaining discussions happening between community members. As such, we want to encourage folks to participate in discussions and reward those who are initiating or taking part in conversations across the community. After all, a community is made possible by the people interacting inside it.

There are loads of great discussions floating about in this community. This is just the one we chose to highlight. 🙂

I urge you all to share your favorite discussion of the past week below in the comments. And if you're up for it, give the author an @mention — it'll probably make 'em feel good. 💚

Top comments (4)

twomodone profile image
Abdelrahman Elsayed

Wow! I didn't expect that my discussion would get featured. And yes, I know the title is self-deprecating, but I couldn't describe it any better. Thank you @michaeltharrington for taking the time to write this post. I want to thank everyone who helped me by answering my question. I am grateful to be part of this community! I hope you see me writing more in the future.

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

You are very welcome, Abdelrahman! And haha, all good... while the title was self-deprecating, that's totally an okay thing. People can relate to that feeling for sure!

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that the advice and encouragement and has been helpful. Look forward to seeing your future posts!

anitaolsen profile image
Anita Olsen

Excellent discussion, a well deserved badge and it is most impressive considering that it was your first post! I hope you will keep writing! Congratulations, @twomodone!

twomodone profile image
Abdelrahman Elsayed