3 Common Mistakes New Writers Make

Eliminate these bad habits if you want to be successful.

Photo by Rahul Pandit on Unsplash

It’s incredibly difficult to become a successful writer.

At least, that’s what most people think. They often wonder what it would be like to create a full-time income from writing and do something they genuinely love every day. But if your articles always get rejected by editors and publications, it’s easy to feel like your chances of success are small.

Right? If you’re anything like my former self, that’s something that has crossed your mind. Quite rightly, you want people around the world to enjoy reading your work. But for one reason or another, you have no idea how to begin the process of improving your writing.

I know exactly how you feel as I’ve found myself in the same position as you many times. But I’ve found that the best way to improve your writing is by recognizing any mistakes, and then doing whatever you can to fix them. Steve Maraboli said it best:

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.”

So if you want to exponentially improve the quality of your writing, here are several mistakes new writers make that you need to avoid. Each of these insights changed my life for the better, and I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.

They Forget To Edit Their Work.

“To write is human, to edit is divine.” — Stephen King

If your writing is full of grammatical mistakes, it’s going to be extremely difficult to read. So once you’ve finished writing your article, it’s important to check for spelling, punctuation, and long sentences that might be challenging to read.

While editing, you need to think like a reader. Is the punctuation in the right place? Is every sentence throughout the article easy to read? Is the article structured in a way that makes sense?

Once I’ve finished an article, I’ll run it through Grammarly as it provides me with suggestions to improve my writing, and it’s incredibly easy to use. But of course, it’s important to remember there’s a variety of other free websites and software out there that can help you with editing.

Since I started spending more time editing my work, the quality of my writing has exponentially increased. Also, I’ve noticed that I’m getting rejected by publications less frequently as my articles are full of practical advice and easy for people to read.

You get the idea. When you edit each article to remove any mistakes, the quality of your writing will inevitably improve.

They Don’t Write A Good Headline.

When your article gets recommended to readers, the headline is the first thing they see. So if you want to get more views on your work, learning how to write an attractive headline is a vital skill to have.

One strategy that worked for me is studying popular articles and identifying why people felt compelled to read them. Then, I did my best to implement the same qualities into my own work. Edmond Mbiaka said it best:

“One can definitely learn a lot of valuable things from successful people, if one isn’t too busy envying them.”

You can do the same. Take a look at 10–20 articles with a lot of reader engagement, and pay attention to the headline. How is it structured? How does the author make their article look interesting and exciting for readers?

When you take daily steps to improve the quality of your headlines, the size of your audience will naturally grow as a result.

They Make A Topic More Complicated Than Necessary.

I see a lot of new writers doing this all the time. Many people use complicated vocabulary to make themselves seem intelligent on a specific subject. But as a result, it makes the article extremely difficult to read.

Don’t do that. Instead, it’s much better to simplify each article, so they’re easy for people to read. For example, I try to use vocabulary that anyone in high school would understand with ease.

Because when your articles are easy and enjoyable to read, your audience will naturally spend a lot more time reading them. In the words of Mary Wortley Montagu:

“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”

So ask yourself: “What bad habits can I eliminate right now to improve the quality of my writing?”

Do that every day, and the trajectory of your writing career will quickly improve for the better. So what are you waiting for?

Start now.

I write for people who want to live a happier life in the modern world. Let’s chat: Mattlillywhitemedium@gmail.com

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