Productive Ideas That Create Creativity

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ideas

ideas (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

No matter what type of creativity you crave, chances are you are always looking for inspiration. In the writing world it has never been easier to share our imagination, ideas and creative thoughts with others through proper use of the internet. It is also tougher as well. With all the distractions life has to offer, and all the others available online, a writer of any level can find themselves far from where they want to be creatively. Below is a short list of tips that may help to get your creative juices flowing, some will help to provide productive distraction that eventually leads you back to the creative world, while others will provide you with a new outlook on your approach to writing.

Productive Ideas To Create Creativity:

  • Write it out. No matter how silly, strange or unstructured, get it on paper so it is not stuck in your head.
  • When inspiration hits, drop everything and indulge.
  • Play with children. They see the world differently and can be a huge source of inspiration.
  • When you are not inspired, don’t write. This is the ideal time to enjoy distractions, who knows maybe they will spark an idea.
  • One small idea can be just as great as 100 big ones.
  • If something is messing up your mojo, move it or lose it entirely. This includes people.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a break. Spending too much time on one task creates stress and leads to less productivity in the long-run.
  • Get up, get out, get moving. Exercise and human interaction are excellent for the creative brain.
  • Make it fun. If you are feeling really blocked make your work into a game. Try naming 100 things that start with B, or that are red. When you make writing fun again your brain is more likely to co-operate.
  • Don’t force an idea. It is better to let an idea enter your mind itself than to try to force it. Forcing the idea too early often leads to frustration and eventually confusion due to over-thinking. Let it simmer, it’ll come.
  • Change the way you write. Sometimes a simple change of style is enough to get you back on track.
  • Seek inspiration in the small things. A short post about anything takes the same level of creativity as a large piece, but less time and sometimes more freedom. Spend time writing small things, even if you never publish them, they can be useful sources in the future and often lead to larger works down the line.
  • Write everything down. If you are a writer you should have a pen and paper (or something of the sort) at all times. As soon as an idea strikes write it down. Be sure to add as many details as possible so you are not looking back at a note later wondering what “One Eyes Pete and the laser of life” means.
  • Share what you have learned with others. Teaching others is a wonderful way to inspire yourself.
  • Update the past. If you are at a loss pick up older pieces and give them a fresh start, or a face lift.
  • Nix the negativity. Whether it is your own self-inflicted negativity or the criticism of others, dwelling on it is not going to get anything done. Lesson number one in life: You will have far more haters than you ever will fans. (So it’s probably best if you are on your own side.)
  • Stop aiming for perfection. The best thing you can do is write it, and get feedback. Don’t try to make it a final draft the first time around, you will end up miserable and overworked, with a wreck of a story that has been hacked to death. Remember the worst that can happen is that it will suck…. Guess what? It can be deleted and re-written!
  • Enjoy yourself. If it’s not enjoyable for you then don’t do it at all.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Write When You Don’t Want To…

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We all have those days when no matter which way we look at it we just don’t feel like writing, but avoiding your work if you truly hope to succeed is not the way to accomplish your goals. Procrastinating or pushing aside your writing once leads to further avoidance and before you know it too much time has passed without a single written word.

You do not have to spend hours writing to get things done, in fact, often times just a few focused minutes will do just fine. Below are a few ways to get yourself writing, even when you really don’t want to…

  1. Make Lists – A large number of my posts on this site, and others are built around lists. Making lists is a great way to generate ideas while keeping your thoughts focused and organized. Build a list of your favorite sites, quotes, or even post ideas you want to complete in the future. Creating the list will get you writing and chances are it will lead you to completing, or at least starting, one of the items you have come up with.
  2. Create Catchy Headlines – Lets be honest, after a long day it can often be overwhelming to consider writing a long detailed post. Instead of wearing yourself thin trying to come up with an entire article write only headlines. Writing and creating headlines works a lot like writing lists, it generates ideas and gets your writing gears moving in the right direction. Don’t feel as if you have to finish anything at that moment, simply create ideas for a time when you have the time to write.
  3. Edit Old Posts – If you are really stuck for new topics consider looking to the past. Editing old articles or posts can be very inspiring and often leads to new ideas that are expanded from old ones. Visit the early posts of your site and re-write one of your posts, you will probably be surprised by how much your writing has improved in just a short time.
  4. Clear The ClutterWriter’s block can happen because our minds are filled with too much clutter and we have no room for new ideas. Make room for inspiration by clearing out the crap that is cluttering up your brain. To accomplish this all you need is paper and a pen (or your computer) and a few minutes of your time. Sit down somewhere quiet and simply write whatever comes to mind. Don’t think, don’t attempt to make sense, and most of all don’t edit it in any way… Just write and get it all out of your head and on to paper so that new ideas can fill the empty space you have created in your mind. Remember to keep this ‘free-writing‘ sheet and look at it in the future, you may be able to pick out useful pieces out of the chaos that was inside your head, but if not don’t stress the point is to simply clear your mind, inspiration and usable content is not important.
  5. Relive a Resolution – One sure-fire way to get something written is to write about a problem that you were able to solve. Perhaps you figured out how to get grass stains out of your 8-year-old’s favorite jeans, found a solution to rebellious teens, or simply discovered a quicker way to clean the kitchen, writing about how you solved a problem is a great way to get writing, and it might help others who are facing the same dilemma you once were.
  6. Seek Inspiration Elsewhere – It might sound strange but you can easily find inspiration in other people’s writing. Visit your favorite blog and read through the content than take a piece and re-write it with your own spin. (Remember to link back to the original author) If you are uncomfortable re-writing someone else’s idea than consider expanding on their piece instead, again being sure to link back to the original post to give the author the credit they deserve.
  7. Answer a Question – Much like sharing a resolution, answering a question can be a great way to get a post on your site. Ask readers to send in questions, or simply create your own based on your site’s content. Sharing information about yourself or your business helps your readers to connect with you on a different level and opens up ideas for future posts.
  8. Explore Unusual Genres – Many times when I am stuck for something to write I will turn in a completely different direction for inspiration. I find writing in an unfamiliar form to be very inspiring. If I am having trouble finishing an article I will step back and pound out a poem or short story. Doing this keeps me in the writing mode, but allows me to look at things from a different perspective. By the time I am ready to tackle my original task I usually have an open mind and plenty of new ideas to write about.
  9. Outline – Outlining is a great way to get started without having to get too in-depth. If you are not in the mood to write try outlining something. You never want to avoid writing because it will lead to lost time now and later, the more you avoid it now the greater chance your writers block or lack of motivation will grow and lead to further avoidance. Instead of walking away from your goals do something that will help them move forward. Outline a post, short story or article that you can write in detail later, this way you are still writing, but you are not forcing yourself to spit out usable content that could have been better written when you are in a writing mood.
  10. Write a Letter – If posts, poems, and articles are simply out of the question for your writing mind at the moment than write someone a letter. When was the last time that you sat down and wrote a letter (not an email) to a friend or family member? Letter writing is a dying art, but I am seeking a revival. Writing some one a letter (even if it never gets sent) is a great way to get yourself writing without the pressure of having to do it well.
  11. Be a Teacher – We learn a great many things in our lives, why not share those lessons with others? Teaching is a wonderful thing, you don’t have to be an expert to teach people something, simply having some experience and an opinion is more than enough. In the modern-day it is easy to sill in the holes that you may not be sure of and with a bit of research you can create a factual post in no time. Use your life lessons to teach others and help them accomplish the same things you have without the hassles you had to face.
  12. Seek Out Strangers – Lastly, if you are really stuck for something to write about, look out the window. Pick a stranger on the street (or from a photo if no one is around) and write about what the picture tells you about them. The man in the park feeding the birds, the woman with her child that has tears in her eyes, the teenage girl with the pink spiky hair… Look around you, there is endless inspiration to be found in every face you see. If you are feeling really gutsy then strike up a conversation with someone and see where it takes you. You never know who you are going to meet.
If you want to succeed as a writer you must write. This is not to say you should force yourself to create amazing works of art when your heart, and mind, are just not in it, but you need to keep writing no matter your mood. If you have decided to be serious about your writing than you have probably scheduled daily writing time into your routine, it is important that you keep this appointment with yourself. Use the ideas above as inspiration on those days when you really don’t want to write and work yourself thorough it. It is not about writing something amazing, it is only about writing. Don’t pressure yourself to be amazing, just be the writer you know you are inside.
Until Next Time…
Write On! 
How do you cope when you don’t feel like writing?
What inspiration do you use when you face writer’s block?
Share your tips and thoughts in the comment section below and remember that questions, comments, thoughts and submissions can also be emailed to:
perfectlyprompted@live.ca

Get on Track to Productive Writing

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The year-end is fast approaching, and for many this is a remind of the resolutions they made at the stroke of midnight many months ago. For some these resolutions were aimed toward a healthier lifestyle, a happier lifestyle and a more productive lifestyle. For others these resolutions were aimed towards their writing, if you resolved to be a more productive writer this year and have found yourself falling behind, don’t get discouraged, you still have time to get back on track…

Helpful Tips to Get Your Writing Back On Track:

  • Write Every day.
    Being productive in your writing does not need to be difficult, it is more about actually writing than it is about the amount of usable content. Resolve to take 60-90 minutes each day and focus on only your writing. Choose a time when you are relaxed and able to focus distraction free, early morning and late evening seem to be the best times for most writers, but choose a time that works best for you. Perhaps you have free time in the afternoon while the little ones are at school or down for their nap, whatever time you choose use it to focus on your writing and only your writing.
  • Don’t Stop.
    Once you have found the time to devote to writing every day, do it without stopping. Don’t think too much about what it is you are writing, simply write. Don’t allow your mind to stop for at least 30-60 minutes or you run the risk of getting distracted by other responsibilities and losing your train of thought.
  • Don’t Stress.
    Stop worrying about the way you are writing and just write already. It can be hard not to compare yourself to other writers, but remember that there is no writer in the world that doesn’t produce an awful first draft of their writing. (well they might be one or two, but they are freaks of nature and we don’t like them very much at all!) Accepting that your first draft of anything does not need to be perfect should relieve a lot of stress and allow you to focus on getting the words down on paper. Don’t waste time stressing about perfection, just focus on getting your thoughts out of your head where they can be read, edited, re-read and re-edited at a later time. shaping them in to the final piece of art you are wasting time trying to create right now.
  • Write The Way You Talk.
    You will save yourself an ample amount of time if you simply write the way you talk. There is nothing complex about this statement so don’t bother over-thinking it, do as it says and write exactly the way you would talk to your best friend. A large amount of time is wasted trying to get a first draft to sound, or read, just right… This is unimportant at this point, the main focus should simply be getting the content on the page to be edited later, so write the way you talk and you will find that your writing flows more easily and you will produce more usable content.
  • Don’t Give Up.
    Every writer has a bad bout, moments when no matter how hard they try they are unable to really write. If you find yourself facing a major block simply wait it out without giving up. It is important that you still write during these times, even if what you are producing is junk, it is about working through the wall and getting into the next batch of ideas. If you find you are unable to focus on one project, test out some lighter writing. Writing poetry, stories or different forms of writing than you would regularly write can be a great way to beat a block and open up your inner muse. The point is to battle on and never give up on your writing.
Remember, it is never too late to get back on track with your writing. Don’t put yourself down because you have not accomplished your goals, instead make new goals and start towards them without regret.
Until Next Time…
Write On!

Print vs Web – Interesting Facts for the Online Writer

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In this information age the World Wide Web is the go-to for everything from news to reviews. It is the main source of information today, and it is great place for a writer to build themselves a name and get their content published. Although, writing for the web is very different from writing a newspaper or magazine article and it is these simple, yet important, differences that can make or break a writers online pursuit.

Web Readers want to go places, they are engaged in what they are reading and are often in search of specific information. They know there is a plethora of sites to see and they want to keep moving.

Print Readers are aiming more towards relaxation and are in a relatively passive state. They are geared towards being entertained, and are often seeking pleasure rather than factual information.

The differences between writing for print (such as a newspaper article) and writing for the web may seem simple, but they require some basic knowledge of reading styles, and a different approach to the content itself.

Headlines are the first place that you will notice a difference between print writing and the online media. Where a newspaper might use a catchy headline to grab a reader’s attention, web writers need to be very specific in their wording in order to have their content found in the search engine results. A rule of thumb for online headlines is that they must have keywords, details, and facts. A newspaper has the advantage of attaching a visible photo which coupled with the catchy headline, helps to reel readers in through curiosity. Web writing relies on search engines to gather readers and most titles are listed in plain text, thus they must clearly state what the piece is about. An article about the effects of ballet on the feet in a newspaper might get away with a title of ‘Tippy Toes‘, but online it would be lost among the excess of articles, and would surely be beaten out in the search engine by results that are more specifically worded.

When you are writing headlines for a piece online you must consider exactly what a reader will type into the search engine in order to find your page, the closer you are to their wording, the higher you are on the lengthy search results list. Clarity over cleverness is key to writing on the web, and clarity can be achieved by using informative text in the first 3 words of your headline. Web writers speed read and scan and thus they rarely see a link in its entirety, be sure you catch their attention with clear, concise headlines and follow-up with easy to read factual information.

The web is aimed towards more specific information, so an article about the effects of ballet on the feet should include reviews of ballet shoes, solutions to the issues, and suggestions for preventive measures. Where a newspaper article will skim the surface of an issue, feeding you the basics you need to know, an online article needs to dig deep and cover all the bases. A good online article will tell you not only how to avoid, ease or erase the issue at hand, but will specify exactly who to see, what to buy, where to go, and how to do so.

Another major difference between print and online media is the tone. Print publications are geared more towards relaxation and entertainment than solution-hunting. In print writing you can use a more personal tone to ‘tell a story‘, where writing for the web requires the use of much more factual information. Storytelling online is often viewed as filler, and tends to slow the reader down, or stop them altogether. Web readers are in search of information, and they often want to find it fast. Ensuring that you have all the facts in place, in an easy to read format, will help your readers gather the information they require without the added effort.

Keeping content to the basics is an important part of online writing. Web readers will often only skim through content to find what they are looking for, and a ‘story‘ that would be otherwise amusing become a road-block on their immediate mission. Sentence structure and detailed paragraphs become somewhat unimportant in comparison to easy to find facts. Keeping your word count and content to a minimum is actually a plus in the world of web writing. Be sure that you get to the point quickly and provide only the essential information.

The last major difference between print and web is the readers requirements. Print such as newspapers, magazines and even television are author-driven and the reader is often willing to tag along for the ride in the hopes of being entertained. Writing on the web is different, readers online want to be in control of what they see and read, thus the content becomes reader-driven and often needs to be more in-depth and flexible. Web writing is an action based media that allows the reader to choose which information is important to them, and which they don’t care to see at all. This is an important fact to remember when writing for the web and can easily make (or break) your site and its content online.

These rules do not apply to all styles of online writing, and like any other advice, it is simply advice and there are always examples of these rules being broken with great success. Always do what you think is best for you and remember to have fun with your writing.

Do you have any online writing tips you wish to share?
Feel free to post your tips, tricks, advice, and questions in t comments section below or email your submissions to:
perfectlyprompted@live.ca

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Important Things Every Writer Should Know

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There are a million and one pieces of advice out there for writers. You can learn a lot if you look around. The web provides amazing advice, blossoming communities and ample resources for writers to enjoy. You can easily educated yourself on every aspect of writing, but some times knowledge isn’t everything and often times it is action that teaches us the lessons we need to learn. If you must educate yourself through written word and obvious advice than below are a few pieces things that every writer should know.

Important Things Every Writer Should Know:

  • You are not alone. There are literally thousands of writers out there on the web, which can be both a blessing and a curse. A curse because of the constant competition and lack of individuality, and a blessing because of the strong support network you are able to build with other people who have the same common interest as you. (Most of whom are more than willing to help out a fellow writer in need of guidance.)
  • The basics are the basis of your career. As tempting as it can be to throw the basic writing principles to the wind and simply start writing, proper word usage and even comma placement can make or break a piece if you truly hope to get published. If you are writing simply for your own pleasure, or personal page, than by all means write any way you want to, but if you hope to get your writing published then it is best you refresh your mind before you actually write.
  • Being a successful writer takes time, lots of time. No one creates a best-seller over-night, (Not even James Patterson, who seems to come out with 10 damn books a year) making a name for yourself in the writing world takes time and effort on your part. The truth is that practice and persistence are the key to success in the field. The writer you were at the beginning will be very different than the writer you will one day become.
  • Education isn’t everything. The truth of the matter is anyone can write, all it really takes is a talent for words, a way with storytelling and a desire to write both down. Education only helps with style and the basic foundations of the art, it has absolutely nothing to do with the raw talent that some writers are simply born with. You could attend the best schools in the country, but if you don’t have ‘it’, you just don’t have it.
  • Despite the fact that there are thousands of writers out there your story will always be uniquely yours. The magical thing about writing is that every story is different. Even when several writers are given the same plot, characters and even story line, each one creates a different story. The creative mind is a magical thing and is one of the reasons that writing is so amazing.
  • You hold the power. The only person to blame if you are not content in your writing is yourself. It is not your schedule, your audience or your reviews that make your writing, it is you.  If you want to be a successful writer you need to make that choice and stick to it like glue. Stop making excuses and start writing. Talent, skill and creativity are only half of what makes a writer successful, persistence is the other part. So get in gear, and get writing!
  • Loosen up. If you take every rejection you receive personally you are doomed to a life of misery. If you want to make a name for yourself you better toughen up. Getting editors to look at your works is difficult, getting it published is even worse. You are going to get ten times the rejections than you do acceptances, don’t take it personally or you are set to sink yourself. Instead take each and build upon it, edit, revise and try again. Keep moving forward and never give up.
  • It’s not just about the writing. Oh the joys if it were simply about writing. What a simple life that would be. Unfortunately the writer is not just a writer, they are an editor, a publicist, a marketer, a blogger, a designer, a reader, a speaker, a lawyer, a trouble-shooter and a person with many needs.  In today’s world they are an even greater number of things. With the world wide web and the popularity in online publishing, a writer has to be somewhat of a technical genius as well. It is a busy, complicated, stressful life, but given the effort it is worth it.
  • It’s a bit about ‘who you know.’ As I said above, writers make up a large community, which can be an excellent source for networking. Being a successful writer sometimes has to do with having the right connections. The best thing you can do is communicate with other writers, through communication with others you will learn about new opportunities, job openings and different venues for your talent. Make friends, get to know other writers and learn as much as you can.
  • Clarity is king in the writing world. The number one thing for a writer to remember is to write what you mean. If you are clear in what you are saying, it will be clear to read, and that is the key to good writing, not the only key, but an important one just the same.
  • Live to write, or write to live. Though being a good writer and writing a lot are great ways to find success, you must remember that in order to have something to write about in the first place you must have lived your life. So get out there and travel, learn and enjoy life so you have stories to tell and things to write about.
  • Keep in mind that the worst thing that can happen is that your writing will be boring. There is no point in stressing about what you write, because the worst case scenario is that it will suck, people will think it’s boring, and no one will want to read it. Really, who cares! If you are happy with what you write, you put effort into it, and you are enjoying the time you spend doing it, what everyone else thinks is not important. So get over your silly fears and write what makes you feel good.
  • Lastly, Stop reading advice about writing and get writing. Tips, tricks and advice are great, they will probably teach you something, but the fact is that unless you actually write something, you will never be a writer. So get out that pen, or sit down in front of your computer, and get writing. Start a piece and finish it. Write from your heart and edit until it is perfect. Remember that the choice is yours and only you can stop yourself, so if you really want to be a writer than you better write something down.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Simple Writing Tips for the Non-Writer

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Great writers sometimes take for granted how difficult writing can actually be. Practice and persistence often make the process easier with time, but for many beginners and non-writers the process of writing can be an overwhelming thing. The simple tips we share about editing your work, using proper paragraphs, and good grammar can be lost on those that don’t a) enjoy writing, and b) write regularly.

There are many different types of readers on this site writers and readers on every level. Today’s Tips and Tricks Tuesday is going to reach out to those of you who may be beginners, or those who don’t choose to write for a living but have to for work, or various other reasons.

Here are some simple tips and tricks to help even non-writer‘s write better:

  • Say it loud – If it is not easily spoken aloud it will not be easily read so ensure that you read everything you write out loud before you publish it anywhere.
  • Learn proper punctuation – Take the time to learn where to use a comma, period and exclamation mark and utilize this knowledge when you write. Commas and periods are an important part of both reading and writing and can easily make or break the flow of your work. Search Google for the basic rules and study them before you start, you need not aim for perfection, but know the basics in the very least.
  • Keep it clear – Using short, to the point sentences is the best way to ensure your writing is easily read. If you can say it with fewer words than do so. The same rule applies to paragraphs.
  • Utilize the spell-check tool – You don’t have to be a world-class spelling bee champion to be a good writer, that is where technology becomes an amazing tool. Locate the spell-check tool in your typing program and run it, twice! There is nothing more annoying than simple spelling errors that could have been avoided by a simple click of the mouse.
  • Keep you vocabulary in check – Using big words that you don’t actually know the true meaning of will not make you appear more intelligent. In fact, in most cases these large, fancy words will make you look dumber than you really are if they are used incorrectly. Stick to words that you are sure you know well, and be fully aware of their context and appropriate usage.
  • Don’t be afraid of grammar – Sure, grammar is important in writing, and you should learn as much grammar as you possibly can, but grammar is not what makes a good writer and should never be the cause of stress. If you are unsure of the proper grammar of a sentence simply aim to make it as clear as you possibly can. Clear writing, and easy reading is far more important that perfect grammar, do what you can and aim to be understood in the end.
  • Get to the point – A major part of good writing is the ability to make your point clear from the get-go. If you are going to force readers to sift through several paragraphs of useless information before they actually discover what it is you are writing about, you are going to lose a lot of readers right away. Clearly stating your point at the beginning of any piece allows readers to decide quickly if what you have written is of any use to them at all, and actually encourages them to read on rather than simply skim through your piece.
  • Aim to write well every time – Practice always makes writing easier, and with time good writing will come if you aim for it. No matter what you are writing, aim to write it well. Emails to friends, family and co-workers should be written with as much care as a published piece. Take time, and put in effort for every single thing you write and you will see your writing quickly improve.
  • Study style – It can not be said enough that reading is a great way to improve your writing. By reading work by good writers you will see what it takes to write well, and you will actually absorb important style tips as you read. Browse blogs, read books, and study papers that are well-written than aim to imitate what you have read.
  • Delete doubt – If you have doubt in your writing, think you are using the wrong words, or are unsure of how well it flows, make it simpler. If something doesn’t feel or sound right, it probably isn’t. Read and re-read your work both out-loud and in your head, several times if you have to. Have others read it if you must. Tweak and change it until it feels perfect for you, and is easily read by others.

Practice and be persistent in your writing. Do your best and never give up. Even if you are not striving to be a professional writer there are simple ways to improve your skills. Writing is a part of everyday life, and in business it can make or break your success. Even the non-writer can be an effective and successful writer if they take the time to learn and have the drive to achieve. The most important part of being a good writer is to be clear in your work and aim to be easily read, anything above and beyond that is simply the icing on the cake that makes a good writer great!

Do you have any tips for non-writers?
What is the most important thing you would share with someone who does not choose to write?
What is the hardest part of writing for you? 
Share you own thoughts, tips, and tricks in the comment section below.

Until Next Time…

Write On! 

Common Writing Mistakes That You Can Fix Today

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Even the best writers in the world rely on editors to help shape their writing. An editor, like a good stylist, will not hack away at chunks of your work, but rather shape a page gently in order to style it into the perfect piece it was meant to be.

A close friend of mine does a lot of editing work and has told me that seeing the first draft of some of the world’s most amazing writers would astound you, and would not at all be what you imagine it would. It is only after detailed editing, and many revisions, that amazing books begin to take on their true form. Though there will always be edits that need to be made, below are a few common mistakes that can save both you, and your editor, time and energy.

Common Mistakes You Can Fix Now to Save Time Later

  • Keep your sentences simple – Elaborate sentences are fine for formal papers, medical or technical writing, or pieces that call for such writing styles, but if you are aiming at a broad audience it is important that your writing be clear and concise. Say what you need to in as little words as possible and keep it to the point. Detail is a wonderful thing, but overuse of detail is one of the most common writing mistakes editors see.
  • The same goes for your paragraphs – The same rule applies to the entire paragraph, it is best to stick to one point per paragraph and make it as easy to read as possible. A reader does not want to see a paragraph that runs on for four pages and jumps all over the map. This is an especially important rule for online writing where readers tend to skim rather than read in detail. Keep your thoughts to a minimum and stick to one main point. Breaking up your paragraphs will allow for easier flow and more detail in the long-run than if you had rambled on and on for several lines.
  • Nix the unnecessary words – If it can be said with fewer words say it with fewer words. For example: He has no sense of responsibility could be better written as He is irresponsible. Less is often more when it comes to writing, avoid throwing in words just to up your count, consider whether or not they actually add to the sentence before including them in the piece.
  • Watch your passive voice – For many beginning writers this is a difficult rule to adhere to, I myself have not fully grasped the real use of the passive voice, all this rule means is to be aware of what you are writing. When writing a sentence that has an action involved be sure the ‘person’ is the beginning of the sentence and not the action. (eg: Why was the road crossed by the Chicken?) You can find out more about the passive voice Here as I am not going to pretend to be an expert on the topic myself. This is apparently a very common mistake that editors see and thus, need to correct costing time and effort that could have been avoided.
  • Write, Read, Edit, Re-Read, Edit again – Before you submit any form of writing to anyone be sure that you have read, edited, re-read, and edited it again. There is nothing more annoying, I am sure, than reading a piece full of simple, avoidable errors. Spelling, basic grammar and other simple errors that could be caught with a simple reading of the piece should be caught by you. Editors see thousands of pieces of work and these tiny errors could make or break your chances. Better to be safe than sorry.
These are basic mistakes that can be avoided if you simply take the time to think as you write. You will not avoid all mistakes, all the time, as we are only human, but by paying attention to your writing you may avoid a few. Take the time to read, edit and re-write when needed. Ensure that your piece appeals to all levels of readers, and that it is clear and to the point. Have thought for the editor who has tired eyes and an over-read brain, and fix as many simple things as you can.
Most of all share your tips below and help others help themselves to become better writers…
Until Next Time…
Write On!

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