Decided to start on a professional writing career in 2012? Here are ten things to remember:
- Don’t expect it to be easy. Writing may come easy to you the few times you sat down in front of a computer to whip up a few pieces. Once you get around to writing 2,000 words a day for six months straight, you’ll realize that it won’t always come that easy. Sometimes, you’re on; other times, you’re way off.
- Be discerning in word choice. Remember who your audience is when choosing the words to express your ideas. Just as well, avoid repetitive use of the same words throughout a piece. Use synonyms, whenever possible. Lastly, limit your use of “hip” language. While it may be acceptable for the situation, nobody likes reading the same vogue language over and over. Use it once or twice to establish how in touch you are with the material, then move on to other words.
- Master the groundwork. Strengthen your foundation by mastering the fundamentals before focusing on advanced techniques and elements of style. You can be a good writer even without much flair; without the fundamentals, though, even your most creative touches will fall flat.
- Learn when to quit. Many novice writers keep writing and revising past the point where it’s necessary. It will vary for every one, but you need to find a way to tell if a piece is finished or needs just a little more work.
- Be willing to experiment. You’re new, so you’ll have to try new things in order to find what works best. In doing so, however, don’t push the boundaries too much. Try a new technique in this paragraph or a new style for that conclusion, then move on to what’s tried and true. Never devote an entire commissioned work to experimenting with something that can fall totally flat on its face.