Lift the standard of your writing
Let's get real here. Do I have your permission to keep it real? OK.
How do you expect your audience to take your writing seriously if you don't put some attention and detail into your work? While there is a book in each of us, some of us are not meant to write that book. It may be best to get someone more adept at writing to communicate same. It doesn't mean that you are not the author. Far from it; for the words and ideas are yours. It is just that you are not a great communicator, and that's OK. You can't be great at everything.
Those authors who have earned the status of best-selling authors may not have been the ones to write the book. They get persons to help them communicate their ideas, but they spend the time promoting and marketing, hence the title of 'Best Seller'. These authors have a team around them. Yes, they have the resources, and you may not. That does not stop you from doing what it takes to produce a good book that would be gobbled up by your audience.
Take me, for example. When I started writing for The Gleaner, I was confident that I had something to share that others needed, and I knew how to communicate that information so that it is easily understood. As I continued to write, I got better. The lesson to be learned here is practice makes perfect, as they say. How can you get practice? My suggestion is to start with a simple blog and build an audience. A safe place to get your writings out, that with promotion, others will see and comment. This will help to build your confidence and allow you to be better able to hear your audience's needs.
I, too, am guided by the feedback I get from persons who write to me. This helps me to know that I am on the right track, that I have communicated the message correctly and it was received well by the right audience. Not once have I received any negative feedback on my writing. As a matter of fact, I have received rave reviews; not to boast, but it does feel good. And it is that feeling you desire to keep you going.
Another approach is to read, read, read! People nowadays are not reading, and it is creating a negative impact on their ability to think, negotiate, communicate, understand, and interpret situations to make better decisions. Reading as widely as you can with books in your genre helps you to find the language, tone and voice that should be used for that particular audience. So if you are into non-fiction, which focuses on the how-to, then you should be reading books by Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, Les Brown, Stephen Covey, Brendon Burchard, Jay Abrahams, and the like. If you are a fiction writer, then I would suggest books by J.K. Rowling and Alessandra Torre (she writes erotica, is a best-selling author, and recently signed a deal to get her book into a movie).
Language has taken a turn for the worse these days, and it seems either through osmosis, association or just willful act, that you have got caught in it. Lift your standard of writing by removing yourself from those things or people who influence you by either of those means to write atrocious words or whatever they are called, such as 'enuh' instead of 'you know'; 'your' instead of 'you're'. It is painful to give more examples. Don't think I don't use WhatsApp and text messaging. I do. However, I do not get myself in the bad habit of writing in such a manner, for it will eventually become part of my subconscious that I may involuntarily elicit through my behaviour and conversations at the most inappropriate times. And I don't want that. Would you?
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- Corine La Font is a speaker, author, coach and self-publishing consultant. She is also an award-winning publishing resource in the 2013 Small Business Book Awards. Get a copy of her book at http://amzn.to/TFHQka. Subscribe to her magazine at http://bit.ly/1IDj7pQ. Tune in to her radio programme at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/helpdeskja, and check out her website at http://www.helpdeskja.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.