I need some way to improve my writing skills.
I have a lot of trouble putting thoughts into words while writing and speaking. I get stuck in the middle of what I'm try to explain, and I often forget simple words. I have awful spelling, so I avoid using words above 4 syllables.
Writing causes me a lot of anxiety, so much so that I can't send in a cover letter for a job or complete essays for college entry.
When I was in highschool I failed my english classes because I would never complete writing assignments, so I never got very far.
Is there any way (along with daily essay practice) I could learn to write above a middle school level? What sort of spelling/grammar tools can I use to practice?
other than actually practicing with daily essays (id recommend an online course at the very least) look into using... idk, spellcheck? even browsers have built in spell check so you should use any word above 4 syllables and just right click it to find the right spelling.
for bonus points ,any time you misspell a complex word, re write it four times while looking at the correct spelling. helps get it in your brain instead of relying solely on spellcheck.
English professor here:
I'll bet you're trying to do too many things at once.
Writing is a multiple step process, each step employing a different part of your brain, and it is best to do them one at a time, even if that seems the long way.
1. Invention. Start, before writing a word, by getting clear in your mind what you want to write about and what you want to say about it.
2. Content. In order to say what you want, what sorts of things will go into the essay? Subpoints, logical steps in the argument or description, examples, whatever.
3. Organization. Put those things in a list, in the most logical order. Imagine that you were talking to someone - what would you instinctively say first, second, etc. (A formal outline of the sort they teach in comp classes can be useful here, but a list will do.
4. Writing. Just write it. Forget grammar, spelling, everything but just translating your list into sentences and paragraphs.
5. Editing for content. Read over what you read. Still ignore grammar and spelling. Does it say what you wanted to say back at the start? Does it include all the points you wanted to make? Might it be clearer or stronger if you switched the order of sentences or paragraphs? Did anything wander in that isn't really relevant?
5. Editing for mechanics. Only when you've got it so it says what you want it to do you worry about spelling and grammar (Why fret over spelling earlier when you might have ended up dropping that sentence?) Run it through a spell checker and grammar checker. (Neither id foolproof, but they'll catch 80-90% of errors.) Have a friend read it to see if he/she spots any errors.
Do you see that each step requires a different kind of thinking, and that doing each on its own is easier than trying to do them all at once?