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Thanks to the growth of online media and digital marketing, making money as a writer has never been more accessible. No longer do you have to pursue a traditional journalism career to get paid for your craft. Instead, you can submit your content to a variety of sites and agencies who will then provide you with a handsome reward in return. The days of the impoverished writer are, fortunately, behind us.
There’s a considerable difference, however, between the merely average writer, and the truly exceptional one. When you read run-of-the-mill copy, it doesn’t draw you in. Grammatically it’s okay, and you get the message. But it’s not effortless. It doesn’t hold your attention. You have to really concentrate to make it through to the next sentence.
Remarkable writers don’t make you feel like this at all. Each new sentence builds on the last, leading you gently through the subject matter. Rarely do you have to pause and scan the previous sentence to follow the train of thought. You always feel like you’re keeping up.
Quality writers also have a knack for writing as if it’s no effort at all. They glide from sentence to sentence with impeccable flow, their ideas dancing along with their words perfectly. When you read one of their articles and don’t spend any time thinking about the writing, that’s when you know you’ve found a great writer. The text disappears, and all you’re left with is a clear record of seamless ideas.Thanks to the growth of online media and digital marketing, making money as a writer has never been more accessible. No longer do you have to pursue a traditional journalism career to get paid for your craft. Instead, you can submit your content to a variety of sites and agencies who will then provide you with a handsome reward in return.Click To Tweet
Professional writers starting out in their careers should take note. Being a good writer is sufficient to earn you a decent pay packet. Being a great writer, though, can transform you into a virtuoso, and you can wind up making six-figures (even without a book deal).
Do you want to get paid to write? Take a look at these hidden traits of exceptional writers.
They’re Problem Solvers
Exceptional writers aren’t just creatives. They’re also problem-solvers. They can see issues in their minds, and they know how to commit solutions to paper.
Writers know that communicating in a language their audience understands is imperative. Most topics, however, aren’t accessible to the layperson. There are jargon and conceptual barriers.
The exceptional writer, however, is somebody who can step into the shoes of their audience and foresee their intellectual stumbling blocks. Instead of just expecting them to get a concept immediately, they break it down into manageable chunks, spoon-feeding it in a language they understand. Then, once the groundwork is in place, they can narrate more liberally, but not before.
Great writers, therefore, anticipate problems for their audiences and address them. It’s not just about being accurate or even grammatically correct. Part of the art is to empathize with the reader and help them surmount conceptual stumbling blocks without them even realizing they’re doing it.
They Can Express Ideas With Clarity
Communicating ideas to people is always a challenge. Even after a decade in school, many children still do not understand the basics of multiplication and division. After all, words are just symbols on a page. It’s up to the reader to transform them into knowledge and understanding.
Skilled writers, though, understand that the form of their writing can make the ideas easier to digest. Shorter sentences, better analogies, and more compact syntax all make a big difference. As does grounding the entire narrative in concepts that the reader understands. Excellent writing is all about taking baby steps, leaping from one conceptual milestone to another, without any giant chasms in the way.
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They Absorb Content
The way that people read affects their writing. On the one hand, you have those who read snippets of anything and every that comes their way, taking down ideas and making mental notes. On the other extreme, you have those who focus intently on specific documents, like the lawyer reading case reports before a trial.
Exceptional writers tend not to get bogged down in the details of texts that they read. And they certainly don’t conform to stylistic conventions. Instead, they make a note of the salient points and then trust themselves enough to put them into their own words at a later date. They don’t read books, they spend time with them, contemplating the message throughout, and thinking about how they might communicate similar ideas to their audiences.
They’re Not Afraid To Rewrite Content
Here’s a dirty little secret for you: there is no such thing as a writer who can spew out an entire page of flawless prose in one sitting. Practically all of the best writing you ever read was the result of a dedicated individual returning time and time again to a text to make it perfect.
If you’ve ever tried to edit a page, you’ll know how time-consuming it can be. You start rejigging a sentence, only to realize that it has knock-on effects on the next and the one after that. Sometimes the process can reverberate down the page, turning a simple edit into something that takes all afternoon.
This sort of thing, however, is necessary for the life of a writer. It’s almost impossible to communicate your ideas fully in a single pass. Even the most talented writers need to return to a script the next day when they’re fresh to make edits. Rattling something off that sounds great the first time around is, for all practical purposes, impossible.
Exceptional writers, though, don’t give up at the first sign of trouble. If a sentence doesn’t sound right or a paragraph refuses to flow, they return to it again and again. It’s not such much raw talent that carries them through, but sheer persistence, even in the face of failure.
Becoming a writer, therefore, is becoming a more viable career option for a lot of artistic and creative people out there. Those who can become exceptional writers achieve something very rare indeed. And the market is prepared to reward them handsomely for it. When you become a virtuoso and people know about your skills, you can pretty much charge what you like.