Becoming a freelance writer online involves reading a lot of writing tips. When I first started out, I read everything, from blogs to books to the tiniest of tidbits on Twitter. (Yas, alliteration.)
In the end, I figured that all the writing tips in the world won’t help if you can’t find your own unique voice among all that online chatter.
Even so, I learned so much from this period of concentrated study it’s hard to put a price on it – and I recommend that any online writer should study their craft too. (Yas, seamless segue.)
Not that I’ve stopped learning. I never will. It’s just ever-so-slightly less intense now.
Bearing in mind how useful I found these writing tips, I thought it about time I gave something back by imparting my own original writing tips that I just, like, totally… made up.
If you have any of your own odd writing tips, please do share the weirdness in the comments section below.
1. Don’t use spellcheck
OK, OK – let me explain:
You know when you’re writing away merrily – that idea spilling out onto the page in the right order – and suddenly that pesky red squiggle appears under words like ‘necessary’ or ‘license’? (Oh, just me.)
You go back, right-click and let spellcheck correct it for you, right? What I’m suggesting is that from now on you manually change the spelling when this happens.
Stay with me dude.
Because the benefits of doing this over time are huge. Good spelling is an integral part of being a good writer. I mean, what happens if one day you have to (shock of all horrors) write something down on paper with an actual pen?!
I know, it doesn’t bear thinking about.
The point is, if we don’t have to spell properly, that particular memory muscle will only become weaker and weaker.
Get into this habit and you’ll be a much better writer for it. Honest.
2. Change your work into a PDF file to proofread
Proofreading is half your work as a writer. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written an absolute masterpiece – if you proofread lazily and miss simple grammatical or structural errors, your writing will never be taken seriously.
We’ve all heard of the old print-and-read method for proofreading, but who can spare the trees? Not Planet Earth, that’s for sure.
I discovered (by accident) that if I save my work as a PDF file and proofread it right there on the screen, I always spot errors my eyes refuse to pick up in a Word doc. or Google sheet.
There’s probably some highly logical and reasonable explanation behind why this works, but all I know (and care about) is that it does work.
That’s it. What secret writing tips are you using every day that nobody else knows about?
If you’re just starting out in this online writing game, find out how to build a writing portfolio from scratch.
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash