Posts tagged ‘Information’

January 11, 2011

First freelancing: A challenge

I had obtained a freelancing gig just two weeks ago. It should have been a simple matter, I was asked to rewrite some promotional articles. I was not given any specifics or guidelines beyond adding my own interpretation and inputting at least 30-35% original content.

I completed the task, 6 articles, a total of around 3200 words. Then I was informed that my writing was not up to snuff because I did not include certain keywords. I had not been asked to include any particular keywords, despite having asked for anything specifics to be included in the articles.

The person who asked this of me also did not give specific timelines and was quite rude. I guess that should have been a red flag from the beginning, but I wanted to try anyways.

I’ve learned from this experience. I should trust my gut instincts, despite wanting to give myself more of a presence among writers and freelancers. I should have faith in my own ability to write, and make sure that I know any specifics. I will try to learn more details the next time this comes up, and I will come out ahead.

December 2, 2010

Two key reminders when writing

Writing as a craft can be challenging. You need to be able to express your thoughts effectively in two primary ways.

Firstly, you want to feel that the message you are putting out is congruent with the message you intended when you started writing that article/post/story/etc. the words you write should satisfy you own creative nature in some way. Your works should contain some personal expression or personal touch that allows your bias and opinion on the subject to show through. Having this will not only allow you to feel as though you’ have expressed something, but it also makes your writing unique. Only you can have your specific thoughts, beliefs and perspectives.

When inserting your personal bias or opinion, try not to overwhelm the information. Having an overload of one person’s perspective may turn a reader away because they feel that they are being told how to think. Leave it open ended with your opinion sprinkled throughout. If you are trying to prove why your opinion is strong and valid, use facts and information to back it up. Use positive intonations to emphasize important points as opposed to degrading differences in opinion with negativity. Point out why your perspective is positive and avoid pointing out negativities, the reader can determine these for themselves.

Secondly, you want to ensure that your reader will understand the underlying message that you are trying to express. If you are writing about how coffee affects the brain, for example, you want to keep the information on topic and relevant to the effects of coffee on the brain. Going off topic can be very easy to do, but needs to be stopped before it gets too far. The person who is reading your article/post/story/etc. needs to feel as though they can relate and associate with the content, it has to have enough of an open personal touch. Pull people in with words that open up possibilities and create imaginative thoughts and pictures.

By providing open ended thoughts and ideas, you are creating the opportunity for conversation and debate. With the personal touch, you can show that you have thought on this topic as well as researched it.  Be open to constructive criticism and remember that each person will have their own individual view on the information and opinion you have presented. Work with your readers to provide a full spectrum of information and maximize your abilities.

Your writing should satisfy you and your readers at the same time. If you are not satisfied with your writing, take a break and try writing from a different angle or perspective. This can facilitate your brainstorming as well as causing you to look at a subject or issue with new light. By staying open-minded you will create the potential for reader relationship which will only help to improve your own writing abilities.

November 29, 2010

Writing as a skill

An important part of writing is skill. By skill, I mean spelling and grammar primarily. Syntax also helps, but if you can’t spell the words properly, and you aren’t setting up your sentences to make sense, your message will not go through. No matter how many big, fancy, or obscure words you use, the message needs to be clear enough to understand.

If you find it challenging to correct your spelling or grammar, the easiest way to improve them is to read. But don’t just read fiction, or magazines, or newspapers. Read a large variety of texts from a large variety of sources. Each writer has their own method of expression, and they may break grammar rules intentionally. Read the words out loud to yourself, and organize the sentence the way that it is set up in the book/newspaper/magazine/etc.

You also need to find your own rhythm when it comes to writing. Some people, such as myself, prefer to use longer and more descriptive sentences while incorporating lots of commas. Some people prefer shorter, more blunt and to the point sentences. Some people even manage to make a fairly even blend of the two, and make it work. So find what works for you, and sounds nice when you say it out loud. Use punctuation to emphasize points, try to avoid bolds and italics for the most part as they can be distracting. Typically, you should really only use bolds when introducing a new title or subject. When you need to fragment your message a little bit by breaking it into smaller sub-subjects.

Writing should be an expression, and if there’s no feeling in the words you are creating, it will be apparent to most readers. Write what you love, and love what you write.

November 22, 2010

NaNoWriMo

Ever heard of National Novel Writing Month?

I only just found out about it this past September, browsed upon it just by accident. Read up on what it’s for, and decided to go for it.

What is it? Basically, it’s a creative writing frenzy, designed to get you out of your comfort zone and into some smooth writing without editing.

Without editing? That’s right! Save the editing and the grammatical corrections for December, your main goal for November is output and word count.

You can write the worst stuff that has ever come to your mind, but it causes you to write and write and write. Makes it easier to allow ideas to come to your mind if you aren’t constantly going back over every sentence to make sure it’s grammatically correct. Get your ideas out onto paper (or the computer screen) before you worry about fixing it.

It’s a great idea.

So I’m trying it. Still a work in progress.