From Writer to Writer: Melissa Breau on Getting Started
My name is Melissa Breau. I’m a freelance writer, editor and a cheesy romantic who likes long walks on the beach and arguing about comma placement.
I specialize in helping business owners put their passion into words. I write freelance for several magazines, including as a columnist at Pet Business and edit ebooks for self-published authors.
Melissa’s Tips for Getting Started in the Writing Biz
The best thing I ever did for my own writing was learn how to read someone else’s writing critically. Find a really good story–what was done right? Find a really bad story–what was done wrong? Keep that part of your brain switched to “on” whenever you’re reading.
Realize that writing is not one of those things you can ever truly perfect; that’s part of its charm. Because of this, you should ALWAYS be working to become better.
Know that everyone gets nervous when pitching. Proofread your pitches; maybe even let them sit overnight. But be sure to send them out, because if you don’t you definitely won’t land the assignment.
Learn how to dissect a publication; can you tell which style guide they use? What about their voice? Identify these things before you pitch; then check for them in your final piece. The closer you manage to match the publication’s tone, the more your editor will love you.
Finally, there is an amazing group of writers and editors available on social media. Introduce yourself and then listen. They share some excellent tips… (if necessary, resort to flattery).