As a freelance writer, you certainly want to present the best writing you can. Knowing how to write content that is well-written and well-researched gives you credibility and makes you shine in the eyes of your editor. When an editor is considering writers for the next assignment, you get the call.
However, there is another way to stand out in your editor’s mind. We all have our bad days, sure, but there are certain gaffes that, if they show up in your work consistently, will make your editor cringe and file you away in his or her brain as a weak writer.
To help you navigate the sometimes-uncertain world of web content, I thought I would share the top ten pet peeves that make most editors wince. But rather than looking at this as a list of peevish complaints, think of it as a handy checklist to go through before you submit a piece. I promise, your editor will be grateful.
So without further ado, here are the top ten editorial no-nos that make your editor grimace.
We have all failed. I’m not even going to ask for a show of hands. You’ve done it; don’t try to kid yourself otherwise. Even if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth and you have had the world handed to you on a golden platter, you have failed. It happens to the best and worst of us.
To me, strength is defined in how you cope with failing. Are you a whiner? Do you feel as if the world handed you a raw deal? Is it always someone else’s fault? True, others may contribute to your failures, but in the end, you own them. The secret is to not let them own you.
My wife will think this is all really weird coming from me. I’m still fighting the demons that emerged because of past negative events in my life. Meeting those demons led me to, at best, questionable choices. I could have reacted differently and there would have been markedly different outcomes. I could have walked away silently, leaving the effect of those situations to the the imaginations of those in left in my wake .
Then there is the whole concept of reaction. Maybe the lesson was that I shouldn’t have been in a position to react at all. Failure may come no matter how proactive a person is, but then you go into situations with eyes wide open instead of wandering into a quagmire that requires a major fight to evade.
Take failure for what it is – a lesson. We learn when we fail. We learn what NOT to do in the future. Remember what is said about doing something over and over and expecting a different result. That is truly nuts. Been there. Done that.
Take ownership for the failures in your life. It is never too late. Learn from them and build on the lessons you learn. Learn that there is one person under your control and that you should never allow others to take that power from you.
Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent. Marilyn vos Savant
Everyone fails, but it’s only fatal when people fail to learn from it. Unknown
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the World are the ones who do. Jack Kerouac
In life you are either a passenger or a pilot, it’s your choice. Unknown
A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her. David Brinkley
Each of these quotes says something to me. As I continue to bounce back from events that could have shaken my faith in humanity completely, I am reminded that the past is only relevant if it is allowed to be. As you go through each of these quotes, I ask that you reflect on each one and decide for yourself what meaning each brings to you. All of them have reinforced the main thing I have been trying to focus on, that being that life is not just a game, but a meaningful event for each soul. Each of us has paths that we must follow. Not just one path, but many that lead us to new adventures each and every day. Travel your paths and live your life to the fullest!
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.” Dale Carnegie
“For every wound there is a scar and that scar tells a story; a story that says: ‘I was deeply wounded, but I survived.'” Unknown
“Nothing is ever wrong. We learn from every step we take. Whatever you did today was the way it was meant to be. Be proud of you.” Unknown
“Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.” Helen Keller
“I do not dream at night, I dream all day, I dream for a living.” Steven Spielberg
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot
“You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.” Mitch Albom
“No matter what the situation, remind yourself ‘I have a choice.’” Deepak Chopra
Here is an article that outlines some of the most common writing boo-boos. For the record, the one on comma usage is my biggest pet peeve. If you vomit commas on me, I will get rather surly….
Professional writers often worry that their work is unnecessary. After all, can’t anyone with even a basic education write? The answer: no, they can’t. Even college graduates don’t seem to be learning composition basics.
Of course not everyone is going to be the next Mark Twain, but career success does depend on not looking stupid. Sure, some clients, coworkers, or resume readers might make some of these mistakes themselves. But it takes just one person to see just one mistake for you to be discounted.
Avoid these 11 mistakes and get the job, make the sale, and write better!
Although this article is more appropriate for my “Stop Workplace Bullies…Now!” blog, I felt compelled to share it here as well. As for the writer of this article – I have been following David Yamada’s blog for some time now. He is a valued friend with the anti-workplace bullying movement. In fact, he is the author of the Healthy Workplace Bill. He doesn’t write any junk – his stuff is thought-provoking and inspirational. Enjoy.
A 12-step program for compassion
Karen Armstrong is a noted author on religious affairs. Her latest book is Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (2010), a mix of faith, philosophy, and self-help. In it, she offers a 12-step program to help make the world a more compassionate place:
- “Learn About Compassion”
- “Look at Your Own World”
- “Compassion for Yourself”
- “How Little We Know”
- “How Should We Speak to One Another?”
- “Concern for Everybody”
- “Love Your Enemies”
This is not easy stuff. Armstrong’s program requires introspection, honest self-evaluation, and conscious effort. Perhaps I’m betraying my own limitations here, but I do believe that folks who attain the final step of loving their enemies should be designated junior saints, or at least get a certificate!
Continued @ Minding the Workplace.
10 Easy Time Management Techniques
by Matt Koenig | November 23, 2010
As we approach the Holiday season I find that my “free” time gets eaten up quite quickly by school performances, family gatherings and other various activities. OK, who am I kidding? It’s a misnomer that “free” time even exists. It doesn’t, especially if you have kids.
So if “free” time doesn’t exist, what are we left with? We are left with having to make our own decisions of how to best allocate our time so that we don’t waste any of these precious resources and stay as productive as we can while still enjoying life without all the stress and pressure. Sound like an impossible task? It’s not.
Planning this sabbatical while working a full time 40+ hour a week job and being a good husband and father at the same time while still making time for some of my own interests like photography has been problematic and trying to say the least. At times there are just not enough hours in the day and I am left scrambling late at night to get things done. These 10 tips are things that I have come across that have made my life less stressful and more productive. I hope they can do the same for you.
Read On >>> 10 Easy Time Management Techniques.
by Amber Lea Starfire | October 19, 2010
When it comes to writing, and this includes journal writing, we all have times when we second-guess or doubt ourselves — usually when we’re well into a project or have embarked on a new commitment. Looking ahead, the task or commitment seems daunting, overwhelming. At that point, we may begin to question our abilities to complete what we set out to do. Or we question the approach we decided to take. Or, even, why we thought we should do it in the first place (What was I thinking!).
In my experience the very best way to move through those periods of writing-related insecurity — well, any form of self-doubt, actually — is to write about it. Here’s how:
Read More: Journal Writing Tips: Writing Through Self-Doubt.
Anyone who follows me on Facebook or Twitter knows I love to share quotes. Some are funny, some are thought-provoking, some are sentimental – some are even quotable! So here is the first in a series I will share here (since I haven’t been doing much else lately on here!). It’s a quote from everyone’s psychologist in a box:
A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. ~ B. F. Skinner
10 Signs: Change Is Happening in Your Life
09/25/2009 – 5:00 pm By Diana Adams
In 2007 I went to the Republic of Panama to hear a group of inspirational leaders teach an advanced personal development seminar about change as it relates to our lives. One of the speakers, Ellie Drake, spoke specifically about “signs that show you that change has begun in your life.” This picture was taken on the day of that seminar (Yes, I had blonde hair then).
One positive thing that has come out of this uncertain world economy is that it has paved the road for incredible personal development within us all. Many of us are getting “back to basics” and remembering what is important in life.
I see many people using this time to make changes and grow personally. In times when people are forced to step out of their comfort zone, true personal growth and fantastic breakthroughs can occur. But, how do you know if you’ve actually begun to change?
Continued at: 10 Signs: Change Is Happening in Your Life | Bit Rebels.
By Dan Rockwell
This is the “Y” installment of the series “Alphabet for Leaders.”
Emotional lows inevitably follow emotional highs. Nagging stress pulls you down like a lead weight. In addition, monthly physical cycles, duties you’d like to avoid, unexpected failures, and reoccurring problems lower your defenses and drain your emotional energy.
On the other hand, unexpected successes, individuals who exceed expectations, positive outcomes to ugly tasks, and affirming feedback lift you. They fill your emotional tank.
Read more: Riding an emotional Yo-yo « Leadership Freak.