I’ve learned a lot of important lessons in writing lately. I tend to get excited and make “newby” mistakes still, but I am trying to learn from them. I have prematurely posted on many occasions and commented on other peoples posts without editing properly, and in turn, I sound like a “newby” writer.
But it does seem like there are some general rules when it comes to writing. I’ve observed a lot of formalities and such, but the imperative “rule” is to be professional, resourceful and reliable. Weather you’re posting on a blog just for fun or working with a publication like a magazine, the content should be engaging and helpful. Traffic will come to a blog when there is something to offer, and an editor will hire a freelancer again and again when that writer gets the job done in the right fashion.
Both Greg Pratt and John Threlfall have great advice when it comes to becoming a successful writer. They are both very successful freelancers and… well you know what they say when you are trying to carry out something in life right?
Do what the pros do! Learn from the best 🙂 So here is a list of some of those do’s and don’ts I’ve learned from Greg and John… and some other insightful fellow bloggers of course, such as my girl Erin at All Curves West. I know these tips will help me on my writing journey as they have already shown me how to become a successful writer.
Make a writing schedule– A writing schedule helps keep you on track, trumps procrastination and attracts readers. This is useful in blogging because regular readers usually like a scheduled post. If they know a post/topic is going to be at the same time each week and they like what they see, they will more than likely come back.
Do your research– Facts, and links to back of those facts. That’s what people like to see!
Connect with like-minded people– Feed off others, share and gather information from them. Again, following people who are doing what you’re doing is the perfect way to build your business and hone in on your skill.
Practice– Practice makes perfect. It’s an art… a science. Engaging and stimulating your mind will only improve your skills.
Take constructive feedback – Always be learning from others
- In Journalism specifically:
- Query the editor and ask what didn’t work if your work is rejected. It shows potential
- Provide tear sheets and clips of your work
- Good subject lines
- Email: “Incoming Pitch” to editors
- Include your name and the date on your pitch
- Pitch yourself
Why are you the best person for the job?
Most importantly… WRITE! Always be writing.
Publish/Post immediately – Wait and walk away from a post for a while before you edit and publish/post.
Get too distracted by social media– OK I should probably take my own advice here and finish my damn book already 😉
Copy and Paste someone else’s work and call it your own– That’s a very big no no. New material fresh from your own brain is obviously best.
Get Angry or insulted– Constructive criticism shouldn’t be taken to heart. Learning is the key to success. It can be tough when people make harsh comments though.
- In Journalism:
- Spell an editor’s name wrong- that’s an instant pass
- Skip the little things: spelling errors, punctuation and obvious mistakes
- Hand in an article late
- Miss your word count: 10 words max give or take from the piece
- Give an editor attitude
- Be unethical- this is an extensive topic
- “Don’t create controversy where it doesn’t exist.”
– Greg Pratt
Most importantly: Don’t stop writing!
Great tips from great writers! After all isn’t that we’re all striving for? To be great!?
I honestly love sharing and that is what everyone should do. Sharing is caring ❤ If a writer helps you out then pay it forward and help another writer in their journey. That’s what it’s all about. Connections. I am so grateful to those who have shown me the way and I am happy to help anyone who is also just starting out.
Apparently there are a lot of “lazy” writers out there. Both Greg and John say that it’s incredibly surprising how many writers just don’t step up. Being polite, keen and willing to learn should be a no-brainer, but that’s not always the case. This post may sound like a recap of the tips I’ve written about in earlier posts… and it is! I’m still learning myself and now I can refer to these tips for inspiration down the road if ever I lose my way.
Recap. Practice. Perfect.
So why not shine above the rest right?! Be the best writer you can be. I sure hope these tips have helped you out in your writing journey today and if they have… let me know in the comments below!!
Do you want to add some of your own tips as well? I’d love to hear them!!!!!!!!!!
Happy writing and Happy Friday! xo