It’s a big step when you’re making the transition from writing as a hobby, for yourself or a small audience, to writing for profit. Whether you’re monetizing a blog, getting into content writing, or seeking publication, then it’s beneficial to give your writing process a lot more attention, shine, and polish. In the end, it will pay off.
With that in mind, we’re going to look at how to apply a professional mindset to your writing with these simple tips.
Delineate your process
What is your writing process? If it’s to simply sit in front of a keyboard when you feel like it and to bang away until it’s done, you might find you have trouble keeping consistent. The process of a professional writer should involve steps that make it easier to create a polished product in a timely manner. Pre-writing, planning, and research all make actual writing easier. Then you need to move on to subsequent drafts, editing, and formatting to ensure that your work is high-quality. If you’re a blogger or content creator, it’s very helpful to lay out the different components of a writing project and devote ample time to each.
Hang up the hangups
There are as many different kinds of writers under the sun as there are kinds of flowers. However, there are two hangups that many consider to be particularly common. The first is a fear of failure. A lot of people hold off on pressing the publish button for way too long because that’s when it becomes “real” and fear of failure rears its ugly head. You need to write with confidence and that includes accepting that you’re occasionally going to publish something that isn’t your best work, and you shouldn’t be afraid to face that. The other common hangup is impostor syndrome. If you’ve made it to the point that you’re getting paid for your writing, accept that you’re good enough to have earned it and try to enjoy it! You’ve worked hard to get to where you are!
Know your field
If you’re getting paid to write, it might be the first time that you’ve specialized in a certain kind of writing or a certain format. As such, you should start narrowing your focus to learn specifically how to write in ways that fit that format. For instance, writing a blog is going to rely on different skills than writing marketing content. For that reason, you should be looking more closely at writing tips for bloggers. Now that you’ve decided to be a professional, it’s time to hone your skills to match the market you’re trying to reach.
Workshop your pieces
We’ve talked about how some people wait too long to press the publish button on a post or piece, but there are plenty who have the exact opposite problem. You might be fine flying by the seat of your pants and leaving small errors that you’ll correct when you get to them. However, if you want to be paid for your work, then you had better believe that typos, syntax errors, sentence structure issues, and the like can all affect your bottom line. Nothing can replace a good editor. Simply put, it’s hard to correct things when you’re reading over them with the same eyes that made the mistake. However, online editor tools are a lot better than nothing. Take the time to re-read and look carefully for errors.
Find your most productive time
If you’re writing professionally, then you need to treat it that way. It’s not enough to simply write when the feeling comes to you. You need to be productive so that you write enough content to make money from it. To that end, you should identify those times of day when you’re most productive. Everyone has a different schedule. There are different philosophies that allow you to get more writing done in less time, such as carving out a few hours at the start of a day or taking a single day within a week to get the bulk of your writing done. Take a closer look at the bimodal, rhythmic, and journalistic philosophies, to see which might work best for you.
The tips above aren’t going to make you a great writer by themselves. That comes with practice, taking the time to properly edit your work, and seeking insight from other experienced writers. But, the tips above are sure to make a smoother, more productive journey.
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