2 Confessions and 3 Tips for Bad Writers
It’s been a while since I’ve taken the opportunity to confess my freelance writing sins. So, let’s get a couple out of the way right now. Today’s confessions can be filed under the following categories: time-suck and inefficiency.
I’m a little obsessive-compulsive when it comes to a couple of things. First, I hate to see an unread thread in my Gmail account. Unread emails show up bold. They stick out like a sore thumb. They taunt me. As soon as I realize they’re there, I have to click open the email — even if there isn’t anything I could or should do with the email yet. If it’s trash, I immediately mark it for deletion. I do whatever it takes to get rid of the extra-thick, heavyweight fonts in my Inbox, regardless of what a huge waste of time it is. I can’t handle the bold, all right?
Just had to get that off my chest.
Second, I religiously check what people are searching for to get to my blog. This is purely for my own amusement and most of the time, it serves no real purpose. Yesterday, however, I got lucky. I had a couple of hits from someone searching for “tips for bad writers.”
Hey, I said to myself. I don’t have anything for them to read.
Hire a Good Writer.
Let me just get this out of the way right here and now. Yes, I know that not everyone can afford to hire someone to write for them, but if you can? Do it. You’ll save time and energy, and I promise you’ll get better copy from a professional. By the way, did you know you can hire me? Enough with the shameless self-promotion.
Tell Your Inner Critic to Take 5.
Lots of small business owners need words, but they don’t feel like their business is profitable enough to warrant hiring a professional. That’s okay. However, if you jump into it with the attitude that you’re a bad writer, it’s going to be tough. Write without revising anything. And I mean anything. Leave the little red and green squiggles alone and say what you need to. Revise and criticize only after you’ve said your piece.
Revise like your life doesn’t depend on it.
Lots of people who fancy themselves non-writers freak out when someone tells them to revise their own work, but it’s really not that hard. After you have looked for the obvious spelling and grammar mistakes, go for clarity. Can you use bullets or numbered lists to simplify the information you’re presenting? What about subheadings? Subheadings aren’t just for making your blog posts and web content reader-friendly; they are also for helping you stay on course as a writer. Finally, highlight the parts of your text that you stumble over when you read it out loud. Then fix them.