Monday, July 31, 2006

Writing Mistakes to Avoid

Let's face it, nobody's perfect -- as freelance writers, we're bound to make the occasional mistake here and there. Minor grammar or spelling errors are one thing but as writers there are several mistakes we just can't afford to make.

For one thing, if you give a client your word you must absolutely honor it. For example, if you've promised a client 20 500 word articles to be delivered within one week, you better do what you can to keep to that committment. At the very least, it's professional and courteous to let the client know if you are going to be late on a deadline a few days ahead of time -- NOT 20 minutes before the work is due. To renege on a promise with absolutely no contact is unprofessional and can ruin your credibility among the writing community.

If you're writing a journalism piece, a PR or another article where proper names and titles are required it's absolutely essential to get the correct spelling. Improperly spelling the name of an interviewee, a company or another person makes you look like an amateur and can hinder your career. Similarly, misquoting anyone in your article can, in extreme cases, ruin your reputation and cost you your job. During an interview, it's always essential that you keep a notebook and, if possible, tapes of the interview that will hold up in court should a problem arise because a source said you misquoted them.

Also keep in mind that different publications have various style formats they follow, and it's important to know beforehand what style you need to be using when crafting an article for a particular publication. While this isn't necessarily as detrimental as the previous mistakes, knowing what you're doing beforehand will prevent unnecessary revisions later.

If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to comment. What mistakes do you feel writers should asolutely avoid at all costs?

Have a Happy Day,

Denise

3 Comments:

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Keith said...

Writing drunk. That's always a bad idea.

Saying that, I can't tell you the number of times I've awoken straddling the keyboard, covered in drool and noticed that I wrote 1,000 words of pure gold during the night.

Unless my cat wrote it. She's always trying to show off. The bitch.

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Denise said...

Heh, well thank you for that glorious insight. You should let me read what your cat has written sometime. I sure it's excellent ;)

 
At 12:39 PM, Blogger Wissam said...

Very good, I have some problems but only with frensh keyboards ...lol

 

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