Writers must be professional if they want to be full time writers. Meeting deadlines, subject guidelines and word counts should be normal operating procedure. I am beginning to get the picture that being professional is not first on the minds of many writer artists.
The last couple of days I have had several employers talk about how I am always on time and on target with the job request. “You would be amazed at what I have to deal with.” Even the journalism students that jump into the freelance writing field are not following professional guidelines.
I have stressed over the quality of the work that I produce. My concerns for giving employers what they need for their readers has made me get up in the middle of the night to write. It turns out that all I needed to do was hit my word count and my deadline to shoot to the top of the pack. “Even your grammar is good.” I was shocked that he had to say that.
On behalf of employers around the globe, I am pleading with all writers: Guard your professionalism.
Three Tips to Raise you Above all Writers
1. Hit the deadline. It is better to be a few days early than to be a few hours late. Plan your schedule so that you can meet your deadlines even when life throws you a few curve balls. I have had to dictate how to send articles from bed where I was struggling with the first months of pregnancy. There is always a way to get it there on time.
2. Follow the work requirements. Do what the job says – nothing more and nothing less. When it comes to writing, too many words can be just as much trouble as too few. Meet the word count that the employer needs not the word count you want to meet.
3. Check your spelling and your grammar. There is a small group of us that will share articles to review the grammar, flow and spelling. Even if you can not get someone else to review your work you should take the time to do it yourself. Use your spell check but also take a moment to read your article out loud. Many mistakes come to light when given a voice.
Be professional to become a professional writer. Hit your deadline and word count and produce something that your English teacher would be proud to read.