I have seen everywhere that the best way to improve at writing is to practice, that training is all you need. That, only after so many bad articles you can start to write good ones.
So I have trained. I write every day and while it may not be long articles, I am afraid I am making the biggest mistake I know in language-learning.
In language learning, the main problem you can have is to stick to some bad habits like a wrong pronunciation. If you have a bad pronunciation at the start, which is probably the case, then you need to work on it. You need to put correction of such mistake a priority above improving at the language itself.
In languages, training is pretty much all you need. Just like we all learned our mother tongue by making mistakes as children, if you practice enough, you will get good enough.
However, I believe it doesn’t work that well with writing. Indeed, speaking a language is exchanging with others so you will automatically get some feedback. On the other hand, when you don’t write that well yet, only a few people will read you and the probability of having someone giving you advice or correcting a recurring mistake is indefinitely low.
Reading clearly is the best solution. If you read about various topics from different authors, you can then find and pick up what touches home. What you connect with.
In the same way, you may also encounter an expression that puts you unease and suddenly realize you have used a similar one yourself. You can thus improve in your next piece and willingly avoid using a certain sentence structure for instance.
The problem with that process though is that it pushes your patience to its limits.
While at the beginning you see your improvement regularly when learning a language, your writing can become stale in a very short span of time. Regular feedback in a language allows for swift improvement but reading takes a lot longer and acts in a much less noticeable way.
It changes your core itself. While I don’t think I have had the pleasure of seeing the results themselves showing yet, I trust that it has started, in some way to form myself to become a better writer.
Until I actually get good, I will keep on writing and reading. And then I’ll do the same yet again. Press repeat and enjoy the song playing once more. Its roll-out in my ears, letting them become more and more accustomed to the rhythm.
My hands will hopefully start moving freely, like your body naturally wants to follow the rhythm of a song you like and have heard so many times.
Everything will start even before training your fingers. Reading and patience are the best weapons to improve but without actually practicing, you cannot get anywhere.
Training is crucial. But training alone won’t do you any good if you separate it from the rest.