Writing advice was the most popular topic for the first half of 2023. Our readers really dug into tips on how to scrap state-of-being verbs and how to improve concision, highlighting a few of the issues facing content creators and brand journalists. And this it's a trend. Our top posts last year also dug into technical aspects of writing.

Let's review these top-performing posts:

Cut 20% of your word count

From tweets to white papers to short stories to freaking huge novels. Whatever you're writing, try to lop off 20%. Just try. Maybe you don't need to trim that much. Maybe you can cut another 10%. But the simple act of looking over your writing with an eye toward what the reader doesn't actually need is *chef's kiss* the easiest way to become a better writer. See how to make your writing more concise.

Ditch the state-of-being verbs

One easy way to reduce word count and improve impact is to yank out unnecessary state-of-being verbs. What are they? I know. I didn't learn about them till way after graduation either. Here are some examples:

  • CEO proclaims June to be Immigrant Heritage Month
  • Enter now! The next drawing is planned for July 5.
  • Now that the COVID state of emergency has expired, going to the office is back -- sort of.

Learn more about boosting impact with better verbs.

Ask for the feedback you really need

The bane of many writer's existence is feedback that's irrelevant and/or unactionable. But some of that may be on us. If you're a person who asks “let me know what you think”, you're getting what you ask for. Read more about taking control of the revision and review processes.

The problems with grammar

Grammar is one of the most polarizing topics within writing communities, Check out our round-up of commentary and advice on this hot topic.

12 questions to ask about your writing

Every writer can get better. Here are 12 questions to ask about your writing (or someone else's writing) to guide revision and produce results. Click through to see the questions and download the list.