You may or may not have a natural talent for writing. It may be easy for you to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and produce something entertaining and informative in half an hour. Does that mean you’re any good? You might think so but what if somebody else disagrees?
Are you prepared to listen and work harder at your piece of writing? Many people do not. They become defensive and refuse to believe that their work may not be the work of greatness they thought it was. Sometimes we can all become a little bit arrogant and ignore the possibility that our writing, whisper it, can be a lot better.
Consider the following as ways in which your writing can be improved.
Treat your work like a piece of art.
Take time to hone your writing into something you are really proud of. Edit what you need too by cutting out the waffle and replacing it with something more relevant. Read and reread it until you are as happy as you can be with it. Spend more than half an hour working on it and treat your craft seriously. Until you are truly satisfied with what you have written, do not press ‘send.’
Rather than let your fingers do the talking and hoping for the best, think! What do you hope to achieve with what you are writing? Who is the intended reader? What are they supposed to gain from your work? Map your article out before you dive in. Give your writing a clear structure, drawing the reader in and keeping them interested. Make it relevant by knowing the points you want to make.
Do what you are asked to do.
You may not like to be told how to tone your writing but publishers may require specific things from you. You may have added humor and personal insight to your article, which is fine if that is what the publisher wants. Sometimes however they may just want written facts, third person writing, or a level of seriousness that you have failed to attain. Consider the needs of the publisher you are working for if you want to gain further work from them. Edit your article if you are asked to. Rewrite something if the publisher advises it. Again, don’t be arrogant!
Don’t assume your writing is perfect. Take feedback on how it can be improved without becoming defensive. Knowing that you still have the capacity to learn is important. Yes you may be talented but none of us will ever achieve perfection so be ready to be teachable. Listen to others. Read more on the craft of writing. Practise your writing instead of drifting along with assumed talent. Be professional.