Advice for the Beginning Writer

While it~s true that most people can~t make a full-time
career of writing, there are definitely methods of ensuring
a higher success rate, if you have the patience,
perseverance and time to take the necessary steps toward
finding your place in the literary world.

It may seems surprising, but an astonishingly large number
of amateur writers do not possess the strong grammar skills
they need in order to succeed. Want proof? Simply scan the
internet and you'll see multitudes of articles obviously
written by authors without much technical ability. Many
authors don't seem to read over their articles before
submitting or publishing them, and the result is typos,
spelling mistakes, or even worse.

Sure, spell check can help in some cases, but it won't
correct mis-chosen words. For example, what if you've
typed "their" instead of "there"? Both are correctly
spelled; you've just chosen the wrong homonym. How can
this hurt your career? Editors will look at your
writing as a mountain of work for them, and therefore
they'll reject your material right away. It's surprising,
given such high publishing standards, how much writers
can get away with on the internet!

Having good grammar and clean, correct prose is only the
first battle, however. Next, you've got to give yourself
the exposure you need in order to develop into a
professional.No one is going to give you writing
assignments if they don't know who you are or what you
have done in the past.Therefore, you need to develop a
writing portfolio that contains samples of your previous
work. But if you're just starting out, you may not have a
lot to show. That's no problem, because in this internet
age you have many ways to get your first couple writing
credits. Go online and look for sites that are asking for
short articles. They may not be able to pay you a fee, but
you will get full credit and the ability to put this work
in your portfolio. If you are hesitant
about not getting paid, just realize that down the
line, once you have established yourself as a
professional, you'll be doing just fine,
financially speaking.

Along with building a portfolio, you'll have to publicize
the services you are offering. Most writers tend to ignore
this part of the game, thinking that editors are just
going to somehow come to them. Nothing could be further
from the truth. You've got to market yourself! If you don't,
you can bet that your career is going to stay in a rut.
You need to get your name out there in order to land the
great assignments you have been dreaming about. If you do
take the effort to market yourself as a writer, you will
see an increase in your assignments and in your income.
The key here is to think like a professional--because that's
exactly what you are!

-Iscrizione Disimbol


Iscrizione Disimbol is the webmaster of Alta Writing, Inc. which is one of the leading resources on the subject of writing available online. For questions or comments on this topic, go to: