What I've Learned About Online Writing In Four Months
For years, I was an obsessively perfectionistic writer who wrote practically nothing. Then I got real.
- Don’t go crazy worrying about every detail. If you do, you’ll hardly publish anything. Look over it once and hit “send”. If it’s that horrific, the editors (or readers) will tell you. And besides, on most sites you can edit even after the piece has been published.
- Go topical. People want to read about what is relevant right now - holidays, news, scandals, events - sometimes, if you wait even a day or so, interest could wane. So strike while the iron is hot.
- Write down every single idea you have. You may not be sitting at your desk when you come up with a brilliant idea. And if you don’t write it down, you WILL forget it.
- Don’t be married to your copy. Editors routinely ask you to change things - if you want to write for them, just change it and move on. It doesn’t mean you’re not a good writer; on the contrary, it means you’re a good writer whose work doesn’t one hundred percent fit their needs in a specific way. If they didn’t want your piece, they wouldn’t publish it at all.
- Keep going. With online writing sites, the more you publish, the more you earn. And, just as important, the more you learn. About writing. About what you like to write. About what people respond to. About yourself.
- They can’t all be equally fabulous. Some things you write are going to knock your socks off every time you read them. Others - maybe not as much. But publish anyway. It’s a slippery slope - being a perfectionist can be deadly. It is very easy to hold back from publishing something until you can “improve it”. Most likely, you’ll move on to other projects and it will collect virtual dust. Besides, a piece that you think is just okay might knock someone else’s socks off.