Continuing with my Top 5 Mistakes series, Mary’s jumped in for me today to share her thoughts on what NOT to do *as a writer overall*. She’s telling it like it is, so you better listen, Bang2writers … Enjoy!
We all want to be the pinnacle of perfection, but reality has to kick in sometime. As a writer, you’ve made mistakes before and you’re going to make them again. This doesn’t make you a bad writer: it merely makes you human.
But learning from our mistakes is what prevents us from repeating them, and being aware of what to look for can help us improve our skills. Pitfalls are everywhere, so keep your eyes open.
1) Assuming the Wrong Things
Just because you find something to be particularly interesting, that doesn’t agree that the masses will agree with you. You may feel very passionate about a particular subject. You could probably write thousands of pages devoted to this subject. The problem occurs when that subject doesn’t mean much to anyone else. Make sure you aren’t just assuming that people will want to read whatever it is you’re writing. If nobody is interested, things won’t go well for you. Research the amount of interest in your chosen subject matter. MORE: 4 Things Writers Should Stop Expecting – And 1 Thing You Can Do About It
2) Creating a Subpar Outline
Where are you going with this? Do you really know? A few notes jotted down on a piece of scrap paper are very unlikely to lead to a beautifully crafted piece that you’re glad to show off. When that outline gets turned into a longer piece of writing, you’ll probably miss some of the subtleties you had originally planned because they were never covered in the outline. Make a vague outline, fill in the vague outline with more specific details, and then add another layer of more specific details. MORE: On Writing: Why Planning Beats Seat-Of-Your-Pants Every Time
3) Skimping on The Research
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is believing that you know more than you know. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing – you’ll have to adequately research something. Even if a small detail doesn’t seem that important, you need to understand how it relates to the grand scheme of things. Leaving dangling, misunderstood loose ends can create a compounded issue in the form of a misunderstanding ripple effect. Fiction or nonfiction, make sure you understand every aspect of what you’re attempting to describe. MORE: The Importance Of Research
4) Mishandling Writer’s Block
When you’re having a hard time working on your current project, you may believe that the best solution is to step away from it for a while. The truth is, great writing isn’t the result of a mood. Abandoning your project for any period of time isn’t actually going to solve your writer’s block. Instead, read things other people have written in similar niches. Familiarize yourself with novel and innovative approaches to writing. The worst thing to do is let your brain rust. You need to keep the gears moving. MORE: How to Deal With Writers’ Block: Top 6 DON’Ts
5) Forgetting Who Your Audience Is
Writing for yourself is called journalling. You could be journalling and not even know it! Your writing is only as excellent as your audience believes it is. Who are you writing for, and what do they like? If you have an audience, big or small, you need to make sure you’re communicating with them. If you’re trying to build an audience, think of who you want to comprise that audience. Your writing should be tailored to engaging those people if you ever want to receive recognition. MORE: Your Audience: Who Is Your Script FOR?
Being a writer isn’t easy, and if you’ve been writing for any length of time, you probably already know that. It’s common to feel discouraged when things aren’t going the way you want them to, but you need to remember that you have control. When things get tough, don’t stop looking at them. Simply look at them in different ways!
BIO: Mary Frenson is a Marketing Assistant at Checkdirector.co.uk, a new source of information on UK companies. Mary is always happy to share her marketing ideas and thoughts on business issues. In her free time she enjoys handicrafts.