Be your own best reference. Before you write, commit yourself to ensuring that every piece of your work is your best.
I used to write a magazine column and I often heard, “I saw your piece and went looking for other things you’ve written.” If those monthly columns had been lousy, I wouldn’t have heard those words. If the other pieces they found by me were lousy, they wouldn’t have looked for any more.
My point? Every time you send some writing out into the world, it needs to be the best you can accomplish at that point of your life.
Follow these basic rules to make every piece of writing your best:
1. If you have a certain style of writing, keep it consistent when writing in the same genre. For example, if your style is a little sarcastic and people read you for that, don’t disappoint. Likewise, if you usually write with humor, let that humor shine through.
2. Make sure your piece hits the spot. Content is so important. Be sure that what you are saying is of value to the reader. And communicate your point clearly, so they won’t have to fight to understand you. That means, be as clear as possible in communicating to your readers.
3. Don’t post or publish your writing without a good edit and/or proof of it.
4. Check your article or book to ensure you deliver what you promised. If you tell your readers that you’ll write more on a topic next month or in the next book, then follow through on your promise. Readers remember these things.
Because you may not be to the point of publishing regularly and you may not have a fan base, you may think this doesn’t apply to you. It does. It is never too soon to add to your credibility as a writer. By paying attention to detail, and by editing and proofing your work before you send it out, you will become your own best advocate.