Freelance Writing Back to School

I wrote a post today over at Performancing.com called Blogging Back to School, and I thought it was a good topic to talk about here on Freelance Writing Jobs, too.  With all the kids heading back into the halls of learning at this time of year, many freelancer writers have a bit more time each day to work and catch up on all the things we had to push down on the list of priorities while our kids were home on summer vacation.

It’s also a good time to think about writing basics!  The English language has taken on a variety of nuances throughout the past century, and as writers, we’re often put in the precarious position of writing the way people speak (i.e., the way they’re comfortable hearing words and phrases) versus the way we know is grammatically correct.  Even editors at major magazines and publishing houses struggle with the basics sometimes.

There are two criteria I use to help me navigate between being grammatically correct and not sounding like a robotic text book:

  1. Consider the audience.
  2. Consider the source.

In other words, you need to know who you’re writing for.  Who will read the piece you’re writing?  You need to write in a language they’ll not only understand but also relate to.

Second, you need to know the medium that you’re writing for.  Where will your piece be published or seen by your target audience?  You need to write in a language that is appropriate for that medium.

Can it really be that simple?  Most of the time, I think the answer is yes.  Of course, there are times when writers, editors and publishers clash, but if you follow the two basics listed above, you should be okay in most writing situations.

What do you think?  What are the basics writers should take a moment to remember during back to school time?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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