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11.6: What’s Next?

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    Congratulations! You’ve done it. You’ve reached the end of this book, and hopefully you know more about writing than you did when you started.

    If we’ve done our job well, we’ve answered many of your questions, helped you come up with new ones, given you a toolbox of fresh skills, and broadened your exposure to writing. And you? You’ve put hours of time and practice into becoming a stronger writer, and you’ve reaped the benefits and pride of those efforts. Well done!

    So, what’s next? How can you keep polishing and using your new writing skills? Here are a few suggestions:

    • First and foremost, write! Try to write a little every day. Many writers accomplish this by keeping a journal or diary.
    • Keep your writing skills fine-tuned by reading articles (online or in a hard copy newspaper or magazine) and then writing quick summaries or even short essays in which you respond to or argue with the articles. Doing this is fun and will keep your skills sharp.
    • Push yourself even more by creating a blog or social media site where you can post some of your writing or create a daily paragraph or two about a favorite topic. Making your writing available publicly is a big step and will boost your growing confidence.
    • Write letters to friends and family members. They’ll love receiving them, and you may even get a reply.
    • Take a class! You can find writing classes in your local community education centers as well as community (junior) colleges and most universities.
    • And, this is very important: read. Read something every day, whether a newspaper story, blog post, magazine article, or a favorite book. Being a good reader will help strengthen your writing skills through exposure to all sorts of ideas, essay structures, and language use.

    Like any other skill set, your writing will improve, become easier, and increasingly enjoyable with practice. Here’s wishing you continued growth and even more pride as you move further into the world of writing!

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