Every writer wants to be viewed as professional, intelligent, and bestselling. These goals are honorable, worthy, and attainable. But when a writer consistently makes mistakes that label him/her unprofessional, credibility takes a nose dive as well.
Examine the following mistakes. If you are a writer, changes may be on your horizon.
1. Practicing poor grammar and punctuation
Work smart! Invest in a grammar guide or take a college-level English course. Most publishers use the Chicago Manual of Style. An online help is www.grammarly.com.
2. Failureto invest time to learn and apply social media
Work smart! Today’s readers are online and active in social media. How can we reach them when we fail to learn how they are spending time and their interests?
3. Condescending remarks posted online about those in the publishing world
Work smart! Not only are critical remarks about others inappropriate and unprofessional, every word written online can be retrieved.
4. Lack of demonstrating sincere concern for readers
Work smart! Take time to discover and meet reader needs. Life is about relationships, and when we are genuinely interested in our followers, they become our friends.
5. Refusal to understand genre and the guidelines
Work smart! Be an expert in your writing niche(s). Know the distinguishing characteristics of your subject matter. A professional writer knows where she fits and strives to meet those criteria.
6. Practicing pride that comes before a fall
Work smart! Rejections and a request to edit make us better writers. Grow a tough skin and understand it’s not about us but about the writing project. Humility molds us into better people.
7. Neglecting to learn the writing craft
Work smart! A writer may have the gift of communicating through the written word, but unless they commit to learning how to write and practice the techniques, they may never sell. Learning is ongoing, a means of always being at the top of our game. Wrap your writing in emotion—the reader’s, the characters, and your own.
If any of the above 7 items have slipped into your work habits, now is the time to make changes. Your career, relationships, and reputation are on the line.
We all need to be professional. What is a mistake that you’ve seen a writer make?