Creative Writing Writing 101 10 min2023-07-03 00:00

Strengths and Weaknesses in Writing

strengths and weaknesses in writing

Even the best writers have strengths and weaknesses in writing. Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses is vital if you want to be a good writer.

If you develop your writing skills, you’ll be able to ensure all your writing is of high quality. This applies to creative writing, academic writing, and business writing. 

In this article, we’ll explore five strengths you need and four weaknesses to work on. You’ll also learn how ProWritingAid can help you become a better writer.

5 Writing Strengths You Need to Have

A writing strength is a characteristic of great writing and it gives your reader the impression you know exactly what you’re doing. You can learn and develop writing skills so you don’t need to worry about being naturally gifted.

You can build your writing strengths before you write so your first draft has solid foundations, or you can gain them over time as you write. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to make the first draft perfect; it’ll need editing later on.

We’ve picked five strengths we think are the most important when writing any document. These skills are imperative for those who want a writing career.

Strength 1: A Rich Vocabulary

One of the best things you can do as a writer is to develop the number of words you know. Therefore, you’ll have a diverse word choice to pick from when you’re writing.

You can achieve this strength through reading. Read everything you can get your hands on. It’s not enough to read within your chosen genre, business area, or subject area.

By learning new things and opening your mind to other writing categories, you’ll develop a vivid imagination, and you’ll have an excellent vocabulary to work with.

Learning new words and concepts can also help you reduce writer’s block, which is a bonus strength that will help you achieve your goal of finishing writing projects more often.

It’s said that only 3% of novel writers actually finish writing their novel. Arming yourself with a rich vocabulary will help you become one of those 3%.

If you don’t have time for reading as widely, or you’re not sure you’ll be able to remember so many words, some writing apps have built-in thesaurus features you can use. 

Strength 2: Use of Literary Devices

There are many literary devices writers can use to keep their readers engaged. You might be familiar with a few of them, but if you develop your knowledge of all of them, you’ll create variety in your writing by having more to choose from.

We can’t go over every single literary device you could use in this article. However, we have picked three important ones you can use to strengthen your writing straight away.

Foreshadowing is the technique of revealing details and clues for your reader to give them an idea of what is coming. You can use this in fiction writing to create suspense, excitement, or apprehension. In business and academic writing, you can mention something briefly that you will go into detail about later.

Metaphors and similes are ways to describe things as though they are something else or compared to something else. They are great devices to use in poetry and fiction writing. You can engage your reader with metaphors and similes by making their mind work harder to imagine the things you’re describing.

The opposite of using metaphors to describe something figuratively is using concrete imagery in your descriptions. This is where the “show, don’t tell” rule comes into play. You need to show your readers what you’re writing about through sensory details.

Strength 3: Varying Sentence Lengths

Sentence lengths are important as they help the flow of your writing and contribute to its pacing. Long sentences take longer to read but can include a lot of information. Shorter sentences can have more impact.

If you want to give the reader a sense of urgency in the pacing of your writing, use shorter, snappier sentences. They can be as short as one word. 

Be careful when writing short sentences for pacing. You don’t want to write an entire scene in short sentences because your reader might rush through without picking up any details.

Longer sentences can comprise several clauses and even feature additional information in brackets or between em dashes. They take a while to read, so do your reader a favor and remember to add punctuation for pauses. 

Strength 4: Target Reader Awareness

When you know who you are writing for and what they expect, you can focus on achieving and exceeding those expectations. This works for creative, business, and academic writing. The ability to tailor your content to the intended audience is a mark of a great writer.

If you’re working on a creative writing project, such as a novel, you need to be aware of the basic requirements of a novel and any specific elements of your chosen genre. This could include story length, number of characters, and the amount of exposition.

For business writing, such as sales emails and internal company documents, it’s important to use the correct professional tone and vocabulary for your intended reader. You need to ensure your writing is clear and doesn’t use too much business jargon that could make your reader lose interest.

When writing an academic essay or thesis, your reader is likely to be an examiner or a peer in your academic field, so they should understand the subject you’re writing about. This means you can use more technical language and statistics to back up your points. You’ll also need to use formal language.

Strength 5: A Strong Writing Voice

Your writing voice makes anything you write sound uniquely yours. So it’s important to work on achieving a strong, authoritative voice to make readers pay attention to what you’re writing about.

Developing your writing voice is something that takes time and a lot of practice. Most writers start off by emulating other writers to learn how to write things effectively. Once you know how to write well, you can start developing your own way of doing it.

You should adhere to the objective elements of good writing, such as grammar and spelling, to avoid making mistakes. You might even have to follow style guides for business or academic writing. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t break stylistic or optional writing rules, such as using the Oxford comma, to develop your personal writing style.

When you’re writing with confidence, the reader will hear it. You’ll use phrases and details only experts and enthusiasts would know. Your writing will sound natural, like you’re talking to your reader directly. A strong writing voice is one of the most engaging parts of writing.

key writing strengths

4 Writing Weaknesses to Overcome

Producing great writing is tough, and there are several weaknesses you’ll need to overcome if you want to create amazing pieces of writing. Luckily, most weaknesses only require practice and some studying to resolve them.

I’ve highlighted the four most common weaknesses writers should work on.

Weakness 1: Your Writing Lacks Substance

If you are trying to convince your readers you know what you’re talking about, you need to include details that will give them the right impression.

For a fiction writer, it’s not enough to just add extra details to your descriptions. You need to create unique characters and worlds your reader will want to invest their time in. Even genre fiction readers want to see a new spin on tried and tested plot structures.

You can always improve business and academic writing with some facts and statistics. If you’ve got research findings, add them where appropriate.

In essay writing, don’t use vague statements or general ideas. Your reader will believe your points if you can prove there’s weight to what you’re writing. Make strong points and back them up with evidence. Don’t forget to check your references and citations.

Weakness 2: Poor Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation

A sure-fire way to lose a reader’s attention is poor grammar, misspelled words, and punctuation that skews the meaning of your sentence. Mistakes make the reader focus on the quality of the writing rather than what you are writing about.

There are many books and online courses available for improving your knowledge of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. If you’re uncertain about a rule, you can simply Google it to find out more. Writing style guides are also great places to find grammar rules.

Alternatively, you can use an editing software to tighten up your writing after you’ve finished your first draft. ProWritingAid is an editing software that includes helpful tips and information about the rules you need to brush up on. You’ll learn by doing if you edit your writing with ProWritingAid.

Never make another grammar mistake

ProWritingAid's AI-powered spelling and grammar checker will help you sound professional every time.

Weakness 3: Disorganized Writing

There are structures and templates for literally any piece of writing these days. So there’s no excuse for writing that meanders from one point to another with no apparent connection between each one. Organized writing is a must for all writers.

Before you write anything, you need to plan what you’re going to write. This plan doesn’t need to be very detailed, but it needs to have a logical flow from one point to the next. 

For academic writers, you’ll need to include transition words to join points and ideas together. Connecting your points with transition words will keep your reader engaged.

Weakness 4: Lack of Focus on Writing Projects

One of the biggest weaknesses writers face is a lack of focus. If you allow distractions to overwhelm you when you’re trying to write, it will affect your writing.

Writers need to create a suitable environment that will encourage creativity. This is different for each person, but most writers agree that a quiet room with a desk and a comfy chair are the minimum requirements.

Another factor to consider is whether you’re getting enough sleep. Tired writers don’t make amazing literature. First drafts might be safe to complete when you’re sleepy, but editing is something you should do when you’re alert and able to check your work for imperfections.

How ProWritingAid Can Help You Become a Better Writer

As I mentioned earlier, ProWritingAid is a piece of editing software that will coach you through your strengths and weaknesses as you make edits to your writing. One of the best things about ProWritingAid is that you can use it at any stage of your writing process.

When you use a ProWritingAid integration, you can check for grammatical errors as you type with the Realtime checker. If you hover your cursor over an underlined word or phrase, you’ll see a pop-up that will tell you what improvement needs to be made, and it’ll give you an option to apply a pre-generated improvement.

The Realtime checker gives you suggestions to improve your grammar, spelling, punctuation, readability, and passive voice. If you want to edit your writing further, you can run any of the 20+ reports that will explore specific things, such as your average sentence length and the use of sensory details.

Conclusion on Writing Strengths and Weaknesses

While there are many strengths that great writers possess, the five strengths and four weaknesses we’ve highlighted in this article are some of the most important ones to focus your efforts on to begin with.

Remember, weaknesses will undermine your hard work to become a better writer. You’ll need to make sure you’re not letting yourself down by making the mistakes we’ve mentioned above.

ProWritingAid is here to help you with strengths and weaknesses in writing so you can ensure your own writing is perfect every time. Though it won’t tell you how much sleep to get or how to rearrange your writing environment. That’s all down to you.

If you want to become a skilled writer, give ProWritingAid a try today.

Never make another grammar mistake

ProWritingAid's AI-powered spelling and grammar checker will help you sound professional every time.