The Four Key Benefits of Writing Well

by John Soares on July 9, 2012

If you want to be a successful freelance writer, you must write well.

You don’t have to be a perfectionist, but you do need to write clearly and with very few punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors. You can learn to do this through studying the English language and proper writing techniques.

And learning to write well will increase your productivity and boost your freelance writing career. Here’s how.

1. You Will Sell More Work for More Money

The better you write, the more editors will buy what you sell, and the more they’ll pay you for it.

You will also save time by marketing less because editors who know the quality of your work will come to you with assignments; you won’t have to chase after them begging for work.

2. You Will Increase Your Writing Speed

You’ll write much quicker when you are comfortable with your craft. Your brain won’t bring you to a screeching halt to ask whether or not you used a comma correctly, or if a verb agrees with its subject.

3. You Will Increase Your Editing Speed

When you write well, your first draft is in much better shape than when you don’t write well, so editing of subsequent drafts goes much quicker.

4. You Will Enjoy Writing More

You’ll get greater satisfaction out of the writing process because you’ll know what you’re doing. You’ll also be more satisfied with your finished work.

Suggestions..

1. Spend at least one hour a week studying the craft of writing; more time is even better.

2. Join a writer’s critique group. Members read each others work and then make corrections and suggestions. There are certainly several in your area. Ask local writers, and at bookstores and libraries. Also check the Internet.

Your Take?

Do you agree or disagree with what I say? Are there other benefits of writing well? Do you have other suggestions? Share below!

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gene Burnett July 9, 2012 at 3:05 AM

I’m not a freelance writer, so I can’t speak to that, but I do love writing and I do love writing well. One of the things I most love about having the tools to express myself, sharp and at the ready, is that being able to express the nuances of experience accurately increases my ability to experience the nuances of experience themselves. I really pity people whose vocabulary has been reduced to “sucks” and “cool”…they seem to actually experience life that way too. Also, in everyday life, being able to say exactly what I mean in writing is not only a pleasure, but also saves time and reduces the chances of misunderstandings and all the trouble that comes with them. Simple suggestion to improve writing: treat your facebook or other social media posts as writing assignments. Don’t go crazy with proofreading, but proof everything at least once and ask yourself, Is this well written? Have I really said what I want to say here? Would this post reflect well on me as a writer? I found that my writing improved greatly by doing this. Good post John.

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2 John Soares July 9, 2012 at 6:42 AM

Interesting points Gene.

I wonder how much the way we communicate reflects our actual thought processes. I’m sure there are research studies on this. Can anybody point us to them?

And like you, I’m quite active on social media, especially blogs and Facebook, and I also proofread what I write before I press the submit button.
John Soares recently posted…How This One Simple Technique Boosts My Morning Productivity

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3 Anne Wayman July 9, 2012 at 8:03 AM

The critique group I was in ages ago was great – we were truly supportive of each other which makes a huge difference. I’ve also taken some classes where the teacher was published that have been helpful… have also dropped others when they were nothing like what I thought I needed.

Re thought process – I’d like to see some of that research when you find it John.
Anne Wayman recently posted…3 Must-Dos To Run Your Writing Like A Business

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4 John Soares July 9, 2012 at 8:50 AM

I was in a critique group for a year or so when I was writing my first hiking guide and it was great. There were two published authors in the group, including one who’d written a travel guide for Moon Publications and another who wrote fiction. Both were extremely helpful in making me a better writer.
John Soares recently posted…How to Eat Your Way to Freelance Success

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5 Wade Finnegan July 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Good points, John. All skills improve through practice. I’m a reading specialist and I see the biggest gains with students who increase their reading time exponentially.
Wade Finnegan recently posted…Friends and Business Mix

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6 John Soares July 10, 2012 at 5:56 AM

I was one of those kids who read all the time, and I know all that reading really helped my writing. My mom had all of John Steinbeck’s works, and I’d read each at least once by the time I was twelve.
John Soares recently posted…Simplicity and the Successful Freelancer

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7 Lori July 10, 2012 at 5:48 AM

Couldn’t agree more, John. It’s when I started getting comfortable with my own skills that I started charging more and turning down things that didn’t fit. And I love most of what I do.

I’m in a writing critique group now, and it’s been great to get the feedback. The group dynamic, which isn’t easy to find everywhere, is that all of us are on the same writing level. That helps. But it also helps when one or more aren’t — the feedback you get or give is just as useful no matter what side of the equation you’re on.

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8 John Soares July 10, 2012 at 5:59 AM

I’m actually considering joining a writing group now that I’ve moved to Ashland, Oregon from the boonies of Siskiyou County just to the south.

I would want it to be a group like yours, one that has members at roughly a similar level. I’d also want egos to be contained!
John Soares recently posted…Nine Key Steps to Freelance Success on LinkedIn

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9 Sharon Hurley Hall July 10, 2012 at 5:55 AM

Great points, John. I’d add that you learn a lot through reading. I’ve found that invaluable for picking up the nuances – and the slang – of different varieties of English and other languages. With practice, you can write convincingly for a wider range of readers.
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10 John Soares July 10, 2012 at 6:04 AM

My writing style, especially when blogging, has changed considerably from reading so much over the last few years.

I’ve also started teaching myself a bit of Spanish. I’m not sure yet just how it will affect my writing, but I think language acquisition is likely related writing.
John Soares recently posted…What Freelance Writers Must Know About Inbound Marketing

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11 Sharon Hurley Hall July 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Speaking a couple of languages has helped me, John. Sometimes it’s a matter of picking up cues from people whose first language isn’t English; at others it’s about getting a sense of what someone was really trying to say – learning another language can’t be bad.
Sharon Hurley Hall recently posted…Blogging in 2012: Second Quarter Highlights

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12 Cathy Miller July 10, 2012 at 6:03 AM

I’ll jump on the reading bandwagon. My Mom & Dad both pushed reading when we were growing up. In my case, it was never a push. My brothers were a different story. ;-)

Recently, one of my brothers wrote a post about my Dad telling my brother that he didn’t care what he was going to read, but he was going to read. My brother started with Marvel comics – today, he’s an award-winning documentary filmmaker. :-)
Cathy Miller recently posted…Is Your Message a Symphony of Silence?

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13 John Soares July 10, 2012 at 6:15 AM

Good for your dad!

I read a lot of comics all the way up ’til about age 12. Superman, the Flash, Archie… a lot of ‘em. I was always reading books at the same time, though.

Probably the most influential reading I did at around age 11 or 12 was The Lord of the Rings trilogy. That blew my mind.
John Soares recently posted…How This One Simple Technique Boosts My Morning Productivity

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14 Cathy Miller July 10, 2012 at 7:07 AM

I’m thrilled that my Dad lived long enough to see the benefits of his advice (?) for ALL of his 7 children. :-) Thanks, John.
Cathy Miller recently posted…Is Your Message a Symphony of Silence?

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15 Sharon Hurley Hall July 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM

I love a story with a happy ending, Cathy! :)
Sharon Hurley Hall recently posted…Blogging in 2012: Second Quarter Highlights

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16 Cathy Miller July 10, 2012 at 7:08 AM

:-D Me, too, Sharon.
Cathy Miller recently posted…Is Your Message a Symphony of Silence?

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17 Bill Orton July 19, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Thank you for sharing this great article, John. I used to type 15 word per minute and that is really really slow. I agree totally. In time you’ll learn something from practicing.

-Bill Orton

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18 Roman @ Roman Design in Toronto July 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I can’t stress enough how good it feels to be reading a text that’s been written with care and craft. I’m sure such contents would have a much stronger impact that a poorly written text.

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19 ellaine July 19, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Agree with you, it’s good to spend at least an hour studying writing techniques. You’ll learn a lot and improve more.

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20 Forrest Lybrand July 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Totally agree. It’s all about practice and studying the craft of writing like you say. I think learning by writing is key too, the more you write the more you teach yourself. Getting in a group is great, I’ve done this for the past few years (not as consistently as I’d like). It’s a huge help to get other people’s opinions on how you’re doing.

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21 BarryCrow July 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Yes, having a good grammar and good spelling is one of the key. An hour a week of practicing these 4 steps will do a great improvement to your writing skills. Thank you for sharing it, John.

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22 Jane | Problogging Success July 28, 2012 at 7:08 AM

Knowing the language and grammar will help us enjoy the writing process and it will all seem quite easy for us. Otherwise writing will become a burden. Reading other blogs and books (that are not in your niche; that is much better) helps in improving writing skills; it also kindles creativity.

Thanks for this wonderful post, as always, John!
Jane | Problogging Success recently posted…How To Kick Start Your Creativity To Write Killer Content

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23 steve werner September 22, 2012 at 9:37 AM

thanks for the good tips.

I am a good writer, I just have a poor attention span. Prefer a virtual assistant to edit and post my blogs.

sw
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24 Jeremy Timessen October 30, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I’m a starting freelance writer myself. Not quite as good as some people here though. Thank you for this helpful post.
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25 irene April 12, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Thanks John for inspiring me to work, learn and persevere to become good at writing.

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26 John Soares April 13, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Glad I can help Irene!
John Soares recently posted…Top 10 Ways to Be a More Productive Freelance Writer

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