Distinctive Features Of Professional Writers
May 25, 2016 - Posted toHow to: Essay writing tips
Now that you have decided to become a professional writer, you need to look for ways to strengthen your writing so it becomes marketable. Although you may not be using college paper writing services for your own personal writing, the companies that have these types of services are filled with blog posts with essay writing tips that are aimed at professional writers, and explain what they can do to increase their writing skills. Here are valuable tips to keep in mind about your writing.
Understand Your Audience
Tailoring your reports, stories, or articles to suit the intended audience is important. While writing, keep the novice, the experienced reader and the general reader in mind. You can use subheadings to guide the novice through a difficult piece, while letting the more experienced reader skip parts they do not need, by indicating that in your writing. This is called audience sensitivity. You wouldn’t write a how-to article on changing the oil in your car for 5-year-old kids, just as you wouldn’t want to read a book on how to sound out the letters of the alphabet.
How do your readers perceive you?
Let’s flip this around. Sometimes you are under a microscope of how your readers will perceive your writing, for instance:
- If you are the expert.
Professional writers dive into writing about what they know, sometimes forgetting that their audience may not be as informed about their subject as they are, leaving out too much information that the reader needs, or they underestimate how intelligent their audience is, giving them too many details, boring them with too many explanations. It is okay to know what you know, but also know when to, and when not to give too much information, or hold back information.
- If you are the novice.
Many times as the novice writer, you are asked to write papers on subjects in school you have little knowledge of. But then you have an expert—your professor, read it. This is when help with your writing becomes necessary. Reading about writing helps you while in this novice status so you sound more professional to your professor than you are.
- If you are the peer.
Writing for your peers can be nerve wrecking because writers want to be admired by them more than any other readers. Professors often look at your peer-to-peer writing and will grade your papers based on whether you took your audience into consideration when writing your text.
Understanding your audience will constantly come up as you develop your writing skills. No matter how much writing you do, a professional writer will always do research on writing for their audience.
Revisions and Edits
Professional writing also means to revise, revise, revise, and after you revise, edit. You have just finished your assignment, and you have submitted your work and moved to the next assignment when you get a call that your entire paper/or project needs to be overhauled.
You may want to throw something, have a tantrum and cuss out your editor, but after you do all of this in the privacy of your office, do the work. This is common knowledge with Pros. You will have times when your work is rejected. Don’t be afraid to kill your little darlings. Ask your editor what they are looking for and how you can make the writing better and, do the work.
Start with a completely new outline of how you will do the revision and make it a priority. Whatever you were working on when you got the call, save it for when you are done with the re-write. You will thank me later for this tad-bit of info. Many writing jobs are on a deadline, so if you are asked to do something over, get it out of the way and off your desktop. There is nothing more irritating to an editor than late copy.
Now for the fun part, editing. Yes, you have an editor but it is not their job to finalize your project before you send it to them. this is something that you should get in the habit of doing not once but twice. You cannot depend on spell check programs because if a word is spelled right in the context of the sentence they will let it slide right on by. My main problem is that I am a comma queen, to this day, I still put them in the wrong place.
Word processors try their best to catch the grammar errors but some things are going to get through. Names of individuals for example. Is the format the one that was requested? APA, MLA for example. Keep your assignment guideline open while you do your writing so you can refer back to it often.
Ask a peer for a review. Many of your peers do not like to be asked to do this but you must get in the habit of doing it for others as well as asking for help. A new set of eyes is always a good way of editing your paper. If you are the type of person that gets angry when someone critiques your work, professional writing is not for you. If you are a peer reviewer and run into those that get grumpy after they asked you for help, simply ask them, “what do you want your help to look like?”, this usually makes them think hard about their unprofessional attitude, and they open up to your suggestions. Editing can also be done after you rest a couple of hours from the finished product and come back to it.
As your business grows, remember to take time each day to look up sites that help with writing, read the characteristics of good writing, keep a file of them and share them with your peers. Down the road, write your own essay on how to become a professional writer. What worked for you? What new tips did you develop on your journey? Start tutoring, that is another way to keep your skills on point, teaching others. Well, that is all for now, Write on!