Writing in the field of journalism can be a little daunting, but following these tips will certainly help to stay on track.
Preparation is key
Before even considering starting your piece, you should definitely be aware of the topic at hand. Research thoroughly and pull everything together before beginning.
Writing a plan is usually a good idea, because it will help to keep your thoughts in order while you are actually writing. Knowing what you are going to write can be more important than the writing itself.
Know your audience
This may seem self-explanatory, but knowing who will be reading your piece (or who you want to read your piece) is an important step.
This will allow you to adapt your writing style and prose to best suit the audience, therefore drawing in more attention and expanding your freelance career.
Finding the perfect writing environment can be tricky. Some budding journalists prefer the hustle and bustle of a busy newsroom, while other writers prefer to be left alone when they write. Finding what works for you is vital, so that you can focus properly on the work at hand and write a good piece.
Don’t be afraid of drafting
The first draft of any piece may be absolutely terrible, and that’s okay. It’s important to just get all the ideas down on paper at first. Then, once the structure and information is conceptualized, you can work on a final draft that really speaks to the audience. A terrible draft is simply a sign of progress.
Double Check Everything
This rule applies not only to proofreading but also fact-checking. If the piece you have written includes any statistical information, dates, numbers, etc., be sure to check that these are fully correct before submitting the final piece.
Grammar and spelling are obviously important, too.
Practice Makes Perfect
The age-old saying still rings true. You should take any given opportunity to write, because your skills will improve with every piece. Write continuously, and you will only get better.
Develop Multiple Skills
Practice writing in different styles for different audiences. A sure way to expand your career and further your opportunities is to branch out into new markets and fields. Don’t be afraid to try new things, because it will only get you further in the long run.
All in all, journalism is a relationship-based business. Forming networks is vital to your success in the field, and therefore striking up a good rapport with your clients is essential. These clients may lead to more work in the future, which is always a good thing.
Don’t Let Set-Backs Affect You
In any career, set-backs are bound to occur. This includes journalism and writing. Sometimes, the things you write will receive criticism, and at other times the client may ask for re-writes. These little slip-ups may be annoying and heart-wrenching, but they are not the be-all-and-end-all. Just remember to get back on your feet and keep trying.
Challenge What You Know
This may seem strange coming from an article offering journalism tips, but getting ahead sometimes involves breaking the rules. There are hundreds of websites out there telling you how to write, but it might be best to just go with the flow and write whatever comes to your fingertips. Let the creativity flow, and success is sure to follow.