How many people make excuses that they can’t write? No time, no motivation, writer’s block… all the excuses in the world are out there.
But let’s be honest: if anyone has an excuse not to write, it has to be Farnoosh. She could have ‘woe is me”d and said it was too hard to learn or that improving was difficult.
She didn’t. She decided to learn, and she chose to learn well – well enough to land her a guest post here. And she’d like to pass on her beliefs about the importance of no excuses in writing to you. Enjoy.
Well, I certainly have no business writing.
My education and experience revolve around nothing but mathematics, logic, engineering, and networking (the kind running the backbone of the Internet).
I’m so far removed from the creative act of writing that I should use this as a fantastic excuse when the weight of producing compelling content becomes a burden. Plus, English is my third language, and I have yet to take a writing class.
If anyone could use the excuse, “But I’m not a writer; cut me some slack!” it would be me.
But I don’t make excuses about writing. Never. Excuses are lousy. Excuses are for those who opt out of life’s challenges and its excitement and rewards. Drop excuses from your vocabulary, your thoughts and your lifestyle.
Choose to live — and write — without excuses.
If you do something, learn to do it well. Treat it seriously. Give it your all. Make it a prideful accomplishment to cherish. Make people talk. Create reactions. Start trends.
And, when you write, write compelling content by putting your heart and soul and mind and writing skills into your effort.
Not some of the time or once in a while but every time.
If ever a time in history existed that enabled all people to achieve a goal or pursue a dream, it’s the present. Today. Right here. Right now. A ton of writing knowledge floats around in cyberspace, and it’s insanely rich in quality.
Yet even with these trillion bytes of data humming writing advice in our ears, writers usually shove aside clean, polished writing for other considerations like catchy titles, article length, keywords, marketing strategies, and quick turnaround times.
I’m not saying writing with those in mind is unimportant; I’m advocating that compromising on your grammar and correct use of the language, however subtle it may seem, limits your true growth potential as a writer.
And to grow as a writer, I offer you my uncensored advice:
- What’s wrong is wrong. You may do something incorrectly a hundred times, and the massive online and offline communities may be doing it incorrectly another thousand times. It does not make it right. Most grammar, spelling, and writing rules are beyond debate. You either do them right or wrong. Know and follow the rules.
- Don’t follow fads and poor trends. Following poor trends and general public ignorance only hurts your followers and damages your writing reputation. You want to be a writer, not just someone who writes. Close the gap and aim higher.
- Respect the language. With every article you publish that contains oversights and poor grammar, you dilute the purity of the language, the true intent of words and phrases, and the real meaning of expressions and idioms. Simplify and polish your writing. Let it say what it means and mean what it says. Leave no room for interpretation. Know and use the fundamentals of language, and watch as they push your writing to the top.
- Be vigilant. With repetition, small errors become so obscure you hardly notice them anymore. The clarity of your message may lessen, and the true intent of your words can take a hit. Fight the urge to adopt bad habits and be vigilant when editing and revising your core message. Deliver nothing less than a polished professional post to your community. Let your command of language empower your writing and drive your message. Make writing well a habit and a rule.
- Think ahead. You may escape unscathed through your blog or your community, but one day you may publish a book or an article in a well-respected journal. Don’t let poor habits get the best of you and taint your opportunity to shine. The next time you send your voice into the world through writing, consider my advice and stop for a few minutes. Take a deep breath. Think about what you’re going to do.
Writing well matters.
Writing well isn’t just for authors or journalists or college professors. Writing well belongs to whoever claims it.
As writers, we carry the beauty and purity of language into the next generation. And as with all riches inherited from history, we can choose to protect them indefinitely or toss them away one piece at a time.
Which will you do?