When I was in the Air Force, I learned the hard way how to write SOP’s, or standard operating procedures. My first took more revisions than I cared to count. Sometimes I went home grinding my teeth with smoke pouring from under my collar. Eventually, I began to understand that my supervisor was tapping into my skill as a writer and developing a useful tool. SOP’s are not easy to write by any means.
After leaving the AF, I have written SOP’s for many businesses. Supervisors and managers were astounded that I could do it quickly. I learned how to gather the information I needed and I knew how to format the process. I received several national level awards from the places I worked.
Now, I am making a living from my lifelong passion of writing. It’s an ongoing process of learning and practicing. Styles change, words, colloquialisms and more are added to the language constantly.
Think of writing this way: the world’s greatest musicians practice with coaches every day. The world’s greatest actors and actresses still take lessons from coaches. Writers should hone their skills as well.
Here are five free online writing tools writers can use:
1. Grammerly.com. It’s easy to use this site. Type your text into Word. Copy it onto the site and ask it to check your text. Over 150 grammatical errors are checked, free of charge. You do not have to register to use the site.
2. Grammercheck.net. If you are not sure about how to phrase your sentence, type it into the space and use the “Click Here to Search” button. Your search will reveal articles to help you produce strong, grammatically correct sentences.
3. The Purdue Online Writing Lab. Search terms, writing rules, receive instructions in writing better and more, all free of charge. You can research items forgotten since high school, learn new tools or look up styles and workshops.
4. Paper Rater. This free online tool checks your papers for grammar, spelling, plagiarism and more. A vocabulary builder helps suggest new terms to use in a paper that adds strength to your writing. Employers, teachers, students and professional writers can use this tool to improve their skills.
5. Writer Toolbox. This toolbox contains spellcheckers, dictionaries, translators and a writing style checker. You do not have to buy anything or sign up to use this site. There is a free download of the Whitesmoke grammar, style and spellchecker.
You can improve your writing skills even if the only writing you do is in a diary or letters. Students can improve their grades and employees can improve their job skills. Perhaps you can move into another job, or create a niche all your own.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse forms of DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.