Online readers have a short attention span. Do not lose your readers by filling your prose with flabby construction. Keep their attention with powerful and concise wording. You are not going wrong if your post’s draft initially appears clumsy. All posts start out that way. Even the first drafts of popular blog writers’ posts are not as polished as the result.
The secret to their success is that after the first draft, the editing process refines the content. From the rough draft, the edits display the essence of the ideas in their most readable form. Editing makes the prose clear and polished. You can use tricks that professional editors use. Try these tips to transform your rough draft into a polished post:
Avoid Padding Your Prose with Filler Words
Be as concise as possible. Respect your readers’ limited attention span by eliminating verbosity. Avoid adding unnecessary words. Filler words weaken your writing by moving the emphasis from your sentence drivers. Do not use the words it, here, or there at the beginning of the sentence because they need other support words that dilute the prose even more. You need to keep the focus of the sentence on its subject.
Use the “find” function to search for where you began your sentences with the words it, here, or there. However, if you have already described the object, you can begin the next sentence with the words it, here, or there.
Use Action Verbs
Do not weaken your sentence structure with weak verbs like “to be.” Using weak verbs impairs sentence construction. Powerful verbs bring greater clarity to the text.
Do not Weaken Your Descriptions with Weak Adjectives
Weak verbs and adjectives dilute sentence construction. Be mindful that words preceding weak adjectives further weaken the effectiveness of the text. Use stronger choices for writing with greater impact. Do not use nominals, when a stronger adjective or verb is available. Tell the reader what something is instead of what is not.
For Added Clarity Use Serial Commas
Serial commas, keep the reader engaged. But, do use noun modifiers to shorten sentences when you can. Serial commas and noun modifiers add punch to your writing. Make your writing as polished as it can be by sharpening your prose with these simple editing tricks. You can practice writing this way by editing your old posts. When your writing has clarity and power, you will keep your readers engaged, earn their loyalty, and make your posts more shareable.
Finding a career you are passionate about can make a significant difference in your life. Instead of grudgingly heading into work each day wishing you were somewhere else, you can earn a living doing something you love. Many people who choose writing or editing work feel exactly that way.
Thousands of people take up writing as a hobby. Many of them are unaware of the different opportunities available that will allow them to turn their recreational passion into a lifelong career.
Working in an office is the writing career path with the most options. Companies all over the world, even those that do not specialize in writing services, hire in-house copy editors, assistant editors, technical writers, proposal writers, blog writers, and many other positions.
The opportunities become even more widespread when it comes to employers such as publishing companies, which rely on writing and editing as their core business.
Becoming a freelance writer or editor is another writing career choice with plenty of options and opportunities. Anyone who has a knack for writing can work as a freelance writer, whether it’s your main source of income, a second job, or a creative way to earn a few extra bucks in your downtime.
Freelancing can serve many purposes and offers a variety of options for completing assignments, allowing almost anyone to squeeze in some form of writing, no matter what their daily scheduling situation.
When you’re freelancing on a long-term basis, some companies send you assignments with a deadline for completion while others allow you to request work or schedule your own assignments at a previously agreed-upon rate. In addition, some online publishers will pay for submitted articles without a contract or long-term freelance agreement.
The most well-known writing career is being an author. Millions of books, whether children’s books, short stories, novels, educational texts, poetry collections, or various works of fiction and non-fiction, are published every year.
Writers in this specific field have several options as well. If you are thinking about writing a book or have already written one, publishing is a big step. Many sources are available that allow writers to self-publish, meaning they submit their work, retain the copyright to it, and pay for a chosen number of copies to be published in either hardback, paperback, or as an e-book.
Writers may also seek out publishers and submit their work in hopes of having it published by the company and receiving a portion of the royalties.
Whether you are a hobby writer or make a career of it, good editing is as important to your writing as coming up with ideas for your next great blog post, article, or book. If you have ever had an editor throw project after project back at you, it can feel like your writing is no good, or the editor has it out for you. Neither scenario is likely true. With a little practice, you can become your writing’s own best defense. Once you make these tips a habit, your writing will be trimmed, honed, and ready to shine.
Steps to Self-Editing
When you have been staring at a computer screen for a long period of time, all your text can start to mesh together. For this reason, and to give your eyes a break, always print the draft you are happy with and do a self-edit. Printing gives you the opportunity to red-pen your way through the page as if it was someone else’s work and allows you to be more objective in your editing. It is okay to hack and slash your way through. Be fearless! Pay attention to misplaced words and over-wording during this first run-through.
Next, take a break, even if it is just for a few minutes, and approach the piece again. This time, read it aloud. How does it flow? Is it so wordy that it drones on, or is it easy to follow? Take note of what you notice and don’t be offended if your inner editor tells you to cut it back some more. The next time you wield your red pen, remove all non-essential bits (words, sentences, even entire paragraphs) that do not contribute to the “meat” of your intentions.
When you approach your final draft, remember to keep it concise. Writing that overflows with adjectives may paint a pretty poem, but it does nothing for the function of a well-written letter, memo, or other written work. Re-write keeping your paragraphs at a manageable three to four sentences, and keep those sentences focused with strong subjects, objects, and verbs.
The aforementioned editing practices can and should be utilized in all of your written communications. From your personal letters to interoffice memos, consider how important it is for people to correctly interpret your words. When you practice these editing techniques outside of your usual writing, you also help enforce the good habits that come with being your own editor.
The moment a child figures out how to write down their thoughts, a new realm of possibilities opens up. True, there are fundamental rules and grammatical conventions to learn along the way, but the great promises writing gives also demands an openness to different interpretations of those standards.
Certainly it is harder to stray from the writing rules of a classroom when a child, but as an adult wanting to make a living as a writer, now is the time to consider those different points of view. Start by considering the following five attributes of writing, perhaps a little wacky at first glance, but nevertheless true.
If You Want to Write Better, Then You Better Read
The finest authors are dedicated readers. An easy way to begin improving in writing is to read, consistently. Choose materials from many sources. Focus on writing structures, expression, and what helps the writing flow. Reading will show you what makes a piece of writing powerful, effective, as well as errors to avoid.
Never Copy, Instead Imitate
Newer writers obsess over ensuring their writing is original. Save the time and mental energy you might have spent trying to generate that original story or spin on a topic and spend it enjoying your favorite writer.
Start with the same group of authors you regularly read and look at what it is you like about their writing. Try to incorporate their writing stylistic format into your work.
Shorter is Sweeter
The reading public is restless so spit it out! Your audience will rapidly drop off as you start writing in circles. Fluff is fine for teachers and bunnies, but not your readership. If the words are not speaking precisely to your central idea, then toss them.
When in doubt, throw it out. Read and re-read your work. Often edits make your writing sharper and more appealing. Be succinct and steer clear of repetition.
Being Good is Not Good Enough
Maybe you are an exceptional writer. You had high marks in school and won all the writing contests. None of this guarantees you will ever actually receive any income from your authorship.
The simple truth is that being a good writer does not cut it. Learn to use your writing for more than accolades. Influence an editor with a great piece while also meeting the deadline. Being flexible and accommodating is more likely to pay than your skill alone.
The Tortoise and the Hare, of Sorts
Finally, hard work and resolve will always outdo natural writing ability. Practice is vital. There is absolutely no replacement for putting in the time and energy to hone your craft. Write volumes, read volumes, and immerse yourself in the style of writing you love.