Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Business Guide for Writers, and Why You Should Read

Beginning freelance writers often get stuck at the point of taking jobs. They (and I) worry about committing the sort of time that quality writing requires when they still have the same full plate they've been juggling for years. David Taylor makes you rethink those qualms. This section is a part of the larger business guide for writers that he has posted at

These guidelines cut right to the chase. They do not spend time patting the aspiring freelance writer or novelist on the head and assuring them that they can do it. Mr. Taylor has put together some cold facts and fantastic resources so that, after you've read them, you can still try. You'll have open eyes and a firm start, at least.

If you just can't write, none of this information is going to help you. If you are bored to tears reading something as short as the editorial columns in your local newspaper and can't be bothered to pick up a book and read it straight through, you'll probably never excel as a writer. The best way to learn something is to do it. The second best way is to see it done. Christopher Meeks makes this point with Reading as a Writer at

You can write until your keyboard explodes but if you don't read you will never improve your writing. This blog, of course, will help you (heh) but newspapers, quality magazines, and well-written books are all places to find properly-crafted writing. Being familiar with what works in writing will help you spot errors and inconsistencies in other pieces, including your own writing.

Study grammar, vocabulary, and writing styles to learn how to correct them. Then you can write pieces that will impress people enough to convince them to pay you. Isn't that half of the reason you were writing it in the first place? Having something to say is the other half. Following the advice from Mr. Meeks and Mr. Taylor will help you have the best of both worlds.