- Books, Literature, and Writing
Professional Writing Tips And Techniques To Improve Quality - Enhance Your Literary Prowess
I've been fortunate enough to have enjoyed many fulfilling years as a prolific writer for both professional assignments and personal gratification, creative longevity that has fostered my attainment of invaluable working knowledge, skills, insight, and of course, hands on experience in the field. As current practitioners of this art form already know, writing is unquestionably a great way to cross imaginary continental boundaries and connect with the world to share unique experiences, perspectives, or even expert advice on a regular basis. Web based writing in particular, especially when intentionally designed specifically for distribution via Internet platforms, has not only provided me with the opportunity for monetary benefit via earned income, but also gifted me something of much greater value and importance. Namely, the inspiration to use this free conduit from which my educational tutorials, subject specific travel guides, and related miscellaneous conceptual fiction and non fictional work can be launched seamlessly and unimpeded into the far reaches of inner space. A personal endeavor to help fellow readers and authors alike, become more passionately involved and fundamentally skilled at crafting the highest quality work possible by utilizing a combination of inherent raw talent, and virtually free online editing tools. A continuously evolving and immensely rewarding teaching adventure I am extremely proud of.
Writing, and related creative arts such as photography, music, and freehand drawing, and a virtual myriad of complimentary forms of expression, have always been and always will be, true passions of mine paralleled only by my insatiable interest in more intellectual subjects such as the Law, Legal Aspects, Financial Planning, Real Estate, and the business elements of Traveling. All topics of which I have studied extensively and subsequent knowledge acquired has been applied to real life situations to one degree or another throughout my career. One of the many lessons I've learned and will always eagerly pass on to peers hungry for that creative edge, is the fact that there are many tangibles and intangibles that go into the fine art mix of expressing yourself via this medium. Most accomplished practitioners would agree, some of the more advanced techniques which will be covered in future articles, may indeed take months if not years for beginners, or even intermediate level students to master. The following article includes a brief summary focused on four of these intangible elements that can immediately be added to your arsenal of writing tools if not already included. Some of the material discussed might seem elementary at first glance, however, just like a superbly trained champion caliber athlete who often digresses back to basic fundamentals in an effort to gain a competitive edge by extracting a few additional morsels of information he or she may have missed in the initial phase of boot camp, so shall we.
When it comes to prioritizing my schedule, I, like most accomplished writers, spend the bulk of my available time trying to create interesting, informative, and educational articles that are enhanced whenever possible with original, custom made, on location or studio produced photos that are inherently exclusive to the piece unless otherwise indicated. Hours of enjoyable, yet often times challenging work, at the expense of becoming SEO proficient, whatever that means. However, even though I apparently lack what some might consider fundamental mainstream search engine optimizing expertise, I have learned from the very beginning of my writing career what I believe to be the most invaluable common sense lesson of all, a lesson that in my opinion always trumps most corner cutting or subjective marketing strategies in the long run. My intuition and inherent dedication to excellence has proven the following fact to be true time and time again.
"Publishing top quality work is by far the best way to optimize your Internet visibility and consistently grow a loyal readership complete with an expansive, far reaching idea exchange network consisting of esteemed peers"
)( WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
Have you ever read an article pertaining to an important subject such as the potential devastating physical effects of chronic arthritis that was written by a self proclaimed expert in the field named Joe the Used Car Salesperson? I'm certainly not suggesting that Joe is any less human or intelligent just because he happens to be a used car salesperson, but I will however be the first to question his cyber credibility to publish said article. Honestly, how do you feel after reading an advice column in its entirety like this fictitious example, then proceed to visually scan down toward page bottom only to discover to your dismay the topic covered is clearly not within the authors realm of expertise and listed credentials include working his way up to a current position as highly decorated salesperson five years subsequent to dropping out of medical school which occurred approximately three hours after signing the initial enrollment forms? A little unsettling perhaps after realizing it may have been a complete waste of invaluable time to read an entire entry penned by an individual who spends at least forty hours per work week entertaining perspective clients on the meticulously buffed and polished showroom floor trying mightily to induce a meeting of the minds agreement by introducing the perfect vehicle fit? Personally, I would feel much more comfortable reading a mid sized car comparison and review written by this author verses an article which contains obvious incompatible subject matter such as the aforementioned do it yourself medical diagnosis and treatment piece. When the disconnect or knowledge gap between author and subject matter appears to be wider than the geographical distance between either side of the Congressional isle, My first instinct is to shield myself with a healthy dose of apprehension and skepticism, then proceed to conduct another search. I would venture an educated guess and say many readers feel and react in the same way.
When researching a topic, try not to pursue one that is way out in proverbial left field or may require a formal education or extensive hands on experience to adequately explain with conviction and authority. Simply skip it, move on, and find a more compatible alternative. This strategy will not only help you to craft the most credible articles possible, but will also result in a more pleasurable and relaxing writing experience.
)( DON'T RUSH YOUR WORK
If it only takes you an hour or two to create your article from beginning to end, chances are neglecting attention to detail and your lackadaisical attitude toward quality control will be reflected in the piece and it will read and feel like it only took an hour or so to complete. Needless to say, not the optimum end result any professional writer who is serious about his/her craft, wishes to intentionally produce. Unless a tightly structured schedule dictated by superiors who have commissioned your talent, requires a non negotiable "Time is of the Essence" writing pace as an expressed or implied condition for the project, never rush to competition just so you can feel the euphoric adrenaline rush of disseminating another brilliantly penned article to the global public. If you report to yourself as the only boss, there really are no excuses for rushing. Just relax and take your time to make absolutely sure when you finally do press the "Publish" button to submit the piece for electronic Internet publication, which will introduce your most recent work to the entire world for the very first time, all reasonable precautions were taken to ensure it's the best possible copy it can be. The same attention to detail should be exercised when producing non immediate publication projects such as simply adding another finished page to an ongoing novel or personal memoir. Sooner or later it will be introduced to public eyes.
Never sacrifice quality for quantity under any circumstances especially if your desire is to embark upon a potentially lucrative career within the respective field. If you rush to the finish by trying to cut corners or simply save time in an effort to accomplish an ulterior goal verses producing a top quality article, chances are your readers will "Read" right through it and notice the hastily written results. Negative consequences are inevitable and your writing credibility will undoubtedly be compromised or possibly even damaged beyond repair. A decrease in viewership will be the ultimate final act.
)( WRITE & RE-WRITE
The best script writers in Hollywood, the best web based and hard copy journalists, the best satire and comedy writers, the best Internet writers, the best writers period, all have one thing in common. They all produce an initial working rough draft and then proceed to the next essential step in the creative process which is to passionately re-write, and then re-write, and then re-write once again. All in an effort to fine tune and massage what the public might consider a somewhat acceptable newspaper column or travel related piece, into an error free, interesting, smooth flowing virtual work of art. Re-arranging sentences and words, replacing verbs and adjectives, adding or removing text in certain areas where changes are needed, and emphasizing or reigning in certain phrases within the overall story line or plot to maximize impact. The extent of overall configuration and format experimentation is virtually limited to your imagination. And finally, as a finishing touch, meticulously editing and incorporating custom photos to perfection will add aesthetic appeal and complimentary visual highlights to an already well written piece. All the aforementioned techniques are just some of the essential elements that need to be practiced regularly if your intent is to transform an average, mundane, or in some cases down right sloppy unprofessional article, into an extraordinary work of art that will command the attention and admiration of all readers who open the hard copy of your book, magazine, or navigate their way to your web based article.
My advice, and this is directed at the consummate professional as well, is to write and re-write until you achieve a relatively even, comfortable flow that is visually easy on the reader. Never publish a "First Copy" or "Initial Draft". If you do, I can almost guarantee you will re-visit the work days, weeks, or even months after the initial date of publish, and subsequent to taking an in depth second look, wonder to yourself in amazement how in the world it slipped past your editing eye the first time around.
)( SPELL & GRAMMAR CHECK
A painfully simplistic concept and critically essential proofreading element, yet unfortunately for the literate reading public, overlooked by so many. It's a well known fact that everyone makes mistakes regardless of experience level, but one achievable goal to strive for when writing for public consumption is to keep spelling and grammatical errors to an absolute minimum or try your best in good faith to eliminate them completely. This proactive, pre-publish maintenance item can easily be accomplished by applying mainstream user friendly editing tools that electronically scan the content from top to bottom. Grammar and spell check specific software or free online applications can be worth their weight in proverbial gold. Invaluable assets that assist writers of all levels by locating and identifying the most common mistakes including simple misspellings and more complicated "Syntax Errors" such as questionable or grammatically incorrect sentence structure. If you don't have access to this convenient authors companion, there are numerous free online programs that I'm sure you are already aware of that can help you accomplish this task. For instance, most E-Mails have a manual click on style spell and grammar check built right into the application and most web sites or blog domains typically provide access to an integrated tool for immediate editing convenience. Using each of these applications in succession to electronically scan your work for errors is an excellent way to triple check the finished product and ensure seven billion people will have the distinct opportunity and pleasure of tuning in and viewing your latest piece of artistic splendor in its most professional form, free of unsightly blemishes and or visual distractions.
When all is said and done, and your hard work has paid off with yet another worthy contribution to the arts, think of the publishing process as "Premiere Night". Once the tickets are sold and free passes handed out to friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and after all the anticipation and buzz, finally, the red satin curtain is slowly raised to reveal your article for the very first time to the entire world. If you're anything like me, you'll accept nothing less than absolute perfection for that initial debut. Or as close to perfection as humanly possible. The story or subject matter, sentence structure, font, grammar, and even the inclusion of customized, aesthetically appealing, original photos, exclusive to the piece, which always enhances the overall visual impact and inherently adds intrinsic value, must be edited to my precise standards and strategically positioned within the overall scene to maximize the experience for all visitors.
The curtain is then closed, you can now stand tall and proud with Champagne class raised to the proverbial rafters knowing that you had exercised every possible precaution in a valiant, time consuming, yet exceedingly enjoyable and artistically fulfilling effort to create a work of art worthy of your lofty personal standards, and those of all observers.
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