It would be a mistake to assume that everything you write the first time is perfect. Sure, the content can be good but often anything we write will benefit from a good edit and rewrite.
If you write for an audience (like social media, blogs, books or magazine) then the last thing you want is for a writing error to detract from your message.
I don’t want to give you an extended list of mistakes, I don’t think pointing out all the things you do wrong is helpful. Instead, I’d like to highlight three common mistakes and offer you solutions to fix them.
1. Your vs You’re
This is a common mistake and (to be blunt) a very irritating one to read in writing. Though they sound the same, they do not mean the same.
Your – indicates possession. For example, how is your grandma? Where are your shoes?
You’re – is short for the words “you are”. For example, you’re being mean. You’re going the wrong way.
Solution: When writing, break down your sentence to determine which (your or you are) is a good fit.
I can’t tell you how much this makes me cringe. I think my writing degree has given me the confidence to create original writing, and clichés aren’t original at all.
I’d describe clichés as common phrases. They are often phrases that are used way too much and suggests lazy writing. Why write about it “pouring with rain” ( cliché) when you can instead write “Eddie gripped his umbrella, grimacing as his wet feet slid inside unprotected suede shoes”?
Even the blogging industry/online content creators have clichés of their own, which don’t particularly stand out in a sea of other people using exactly the same phrases. For example (and I’ve done this myself), embark on a journey of self-discovery (cliché) vs making time to really get to know the person I’ve been, am now and am becoming (original).
Solution: When writing, read the phrase out loud and ask consider how many other bloggers are using it. Think about how many times you’ve heard the phrase or your target audience has. Clichés do have their place but not at all in original writing. If you’re striving for more than being like everybody else, then be brave and be creative in your writing.
3. Rushed writing
This kind of writing is obvious. It is often full of typos, random words and grammatical errors. This kind of writing hasn’t seen a spellcheck, it has been written and sent out in the first draft. And it is noticeable. Now, if you’re writing for an audience I can only assume that you care about the impression you give. So, why wouldn’t you make time to ensure your piece is as error-free as possible? I am no saint either, I have rushed newsletters and noticed afterwards that I left a random word in or have silly incorrect spellings. I say silly because at my level of experience, I should know better. I know that if it appears that I don’t care about the presentation of what I produce, it is likely nobody will care about the content or take me seriously. Which only works in your favour if you plan on never sharing your writing.
Solution: I encourage you to take your time with your writing. Write, read, edit, rewrite and read again. Read your writing out loud, slowly. Savour every word to see if it makes sense. It helps to take some time away from it and then return to it with fresh eyes. Here are some online tools which can help.
Are you an experienced writer looking for a new challenge?
Are you looking for a community who understand your creativity?
Join my FREE & fabulous Facebook group Writing With Confidence. We have a 5-day Writing Challenge every month, weekly live videos and feedback on any work shared in the group. We’re a group of writers at different levels and we’d love you to join us.