Careers & Education

Tips for writers

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Who says all writers have to be a novelist?
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Writers - Keep these tips in mind to create great written content.

Writers thoroughly enjoy their craft. The sound of words, the way they flow together and the message or story they deliver is what every writer is attuned to. With a writer's words, a novel can create a picture for the reader or a well-crafted sales letter can have the power to persuade a consumer to buy product. 

Writers don't always strive to create the next great novel. There are various avenues a writer can choose to put writing skills to work. Whether you write for business, greeting cards or magazines, these tips for writers will help you be successful in your writing career.

Read voraciously - From self help to fiction books, writers need to read a variety of books, newspapers or magazines to stay current on topics. The more knowledgeable a writer is, the more he has to draw on when creating a spell binding novel or article for the local gazette.

Always meet your deadline - This point cannot be stressed enough. Miss a deadline and miss your opportunity to write for that editor again. Missing a deadline creates a domino effect for the magazine or business you are writing for. For example, they have their own deadlines to meet with editors and printers to meet publication dates. 
Promote yourself - There are many ways to promote yourself and your work. Creating a website that displays samples of your writing is one way to self promote. Joining your local chamber of commerce lets your community know that you are a serious writer. Placing a small space ad in a writers trade journal or issuing a press release about an upcoming book or writing service that you offer are more tips for writers on gaining exposure.

Proof your copy - Write your first draft, retire it for at least 1 day and then reread and edit before submitting your finished work. You will want to make sure the copy reads smoothly. If you have to stop, back up and read a sentence twice - it needs rewritten. Look for spelling or grammatical errors in your copy. You will be surprised at how these things jump out at you with a fresh eye.

Don't take criticism personally - Editors will have their own ideas on the direction of your story. For various reasons, they may suggest a different angle to approach on your story. If you write copy for business, the sales or legal department will also go over your written document with a fine-tooth comb. Remember to adhere to their wishes, don't let ego get in the way.

Keep accurate records - This is important so you can accurately track your income and expenses for tax purposes. If you are a full time writer, you may want to check with your tax consultant about making quarterly tax payments as well.

Don't be an island - Join a writer's group or take a workshop with other writers. Groups often have tips for writers on where to publish their work and can offer feedback on each other's work.

These seven tips for writers offer practical information to be successful. As with any craft, you must practice daily, even if it is just a paragraph in a journal to keep writing skills sharp.

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