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3 Writing Practice Approaches for Non-Native English Writers

Only one of these is highly recommended

English is the language of the internet but it’s not your first language. You (and I) have been unlucky. However, you have enough English to write stories people can understand. Not perfect English (who has that anyway?), but it’s good enough.

You can write.

And here are three practice approaches you can adopt to improve:

1. Practice only in private

You write stories, blogs, articles or whatever you like, but you don’t publish them. This will help you improve your writing but writers don’t write only for themselves. There’s another word for those who do that — they’re called journalers. 

No writer becomes a writer by hiding their work.

Which rock star became a rock star without playing for a group of listeners? Which soccer player became a soccer player without playing for his fans? Which chef became a chef without cooking for her guests?

So don’t hide from the people who need to read you.

This is an approach I don’t recommend.

2. Practice both privately and publicly

Combine the two. Gain confidence by writing in private but also get your writing in front of people. It’s a good approach. 

There’s a question you need to keep asking yourself though: “How will I know I’m ready to publish or submit my piece?”

I’ll help you answer this question by asking you another one. Were you confident the first time you jumped off a cliff into the sea? Or were you terrified? 

At some point, you have to jump even though you don’t feel ready.

So this approach is better than the previous one but requires constant self-butt-kicking.

3. Practice in public

You write to publish. This is the scariest approach of all — and that’s precisely why you should adopt it.

“I write and publish for my audience.”

Decide once and never revisit this decision.

“But I make grammar mistakes!”

Okay, work on those. Ask for help and don’t expect your article to be accepted into The New York Times (yet). But don’t let language mistakes silence your voice.

What’s the minimum level of English you need to have before publishing something online? Answer: your current level.

This is the approach I’ve adopted — and I highly recommend it.


I’m a non-native English writer who helps non-native English writers. Join my private email list if you need help.

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