Five ways to write like a pro

Five ways to write like a pro1. Read
Reading allows you to see how other accomplished writers use language and builds your syntactic vocabulary. The more you see words strung together in a professional fashion, the more likely phrases will come to life on the page when putting hands to keyboard or pen to paper when you sit down to write.

2. Write
Like anything, practice makes perfect. You can’t expect to suddenly pen the Great American Novel, or even communicate efficiently, without it. It’s like hitting the basketball court for the first time and expecting to swish a three-pointer the first time a shot is attempted. Maybe. Probably not.

3. Don’t fall in love with a first draft
Roald Dahl, author of such children’s favorites as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factoryâ€� and James and the Giant Peach,â€� once said that he might revise the beginnings of his stories 150 times. Most professional writers do numerous drafts before their works are published. They also afford the necessary time to give their works the proper space to be their best without leaning on strict deadlines.

4. Never hesitate to write down ideas
The imagination can be a fertile place but can just as often go barren. If memory is counted upon, a pertinent thought may be irrevocably lost. So write things down. Many authors scribble on scraps of paper, napkins or keep a notebook bedside for such moments. And don’t just wait for inspiration, either. Quality inspiration emerges from a quantity of time devoted to the creative process.

5. Read aloud
If it doesn’t sound right when you read aloud, then there’s something wrong with it. Your brain hears the words and processes them differently when spoken — so give them an auditory inventory.

CCA’s National Day on Writing event is scheduled for Oct. 18. In celebration of the event, CCA will host a group of talented authors in a wide swathe of disciplines.

National Day on Writing
Thursday, October 18, 8:00AM-3:30PM
CCA CentreTech Campus Fine Arts Building Forum
16000 E CentreTech Pkwy, Aurora CO
Free & open to the public

Photo Credit

About the Author

Susan first came to CCA 1995. She teaches literature, creative writing, composition and academic enrichment courses. Prior to joining CCA, she taught at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, in junior high and high schools in three Utah cities, and at Utah Valley Community College in Orem. Achziger also teaches workshops as part of the National Writing Project, helping today’s educators become better writing instructors. She earned her B.S. in Physical Education and English from Brigham Young University and her M.A. in writing from Utah State University.  


  1. Charles Holzheimer

    October 10, 2012

    I was wondering if the college was going to have any sort of organized approach to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November? I’m going to participate. I was just wondering if we as a college might participate. Thoughts?

    I love the writing tips and that we encourage our students to explore the world through the written word!

    • angela torres

      October 15, 2012

      I think we should do it.

    • Susan Achziger

      October 16, 2012

      CCA will be having an informal group of writers who are interested in encouraging each other to complete NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November. If interested, contact me: (303) 340-7550.

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