I'm looking for related resources (online & offline) for improving my writing skills for everyday work.
I've always wanted to improve my writing efficiency and grammar because I feel inadequate when I'd submit essays or papers for class. Now that I have some free time I think it's a good time to work on it.
I was partially inspired by this recent Mefi FFP
for a quick example of the link:
"As revealed in the manual, the CIA is a prescriptivist scold, a believer in the serial comma, and a champion of “crisp and pungent” language “devoid of jargon.”
After spending too many hours online reading different forums and blogs I've come to the conclusion that my writing style feels insecure and less assertive than I want. I often use repetitive sentence structures, vocabulary, awkward grammar/phasing, and less than accurate verb tense. I prefer to use some informal extraneous fillers for example, like, so, IMHO, FWIW, some times, and I think. Yes, I can cut out the words but then it feels too blunt when I send the reply.
Most of my writing in my free time is via email correspondence or forum discussions. I'm not writing blog articles or anything for a wide audience.
Basically, I'm looking for advice to make my writing concise, assured, and clear as possible. I like reading and writing has always been my method of communicating ideas to people. I promise to use my new knowledge for good and not starting flame wars =)
I'm not particularly looking for a verbose or ornate style of writing. I do like reading verbose writers but I don't think I have enough patience or practical skill to attempt it myself for informal writing.
Also, I could send anyone a sample of my writing if I'm somehow unclear in my question if they are interested in specific examples. Thanks.
I have attended a few basic college writing courses and visited the writing center before in the past.