“Those who can do, and those who can’t teach.” (Bernard Shaw)
When you pick up writing as a career, you get bombarded with all kinds of writing tips. Of course, willing to become a better writer, you may want to follow at least some of them. However, as you’ve probably noticed some of those tips are almost useless or even have the reverse effect.
Here are top 5 tips that can do more harm than good (unless you adapt them to your personal needs):
- Write yourself silly. It usually means writing at least something to get over a blank page. However, when it comes to academic writing, grammatically incorrect writing is a mere waste of time. Whereas perfection definitely kills your productivity, poor grammar can’t be a solution. Relying on editing too much, you’ll spend twice as much time than if you try to avoid mistakes right from the start. At the same time, you may even overlook some mistakes if there are too many of them.
- Use writing exercises. Practice and new interesting paid projects are the best exercises for boosting your professional effectiveness. Instead of spending time on doing exercises (no matter how useful they can be), you may earn money taking up some writing gigs.
- Discard clichés. Though this writing tip does make a lot of sense for those who write fiction, it’s harmful for online academic writers. Academic writing can be way easier if you use standard phrases. See this academic phrase bank, for instance.
- Write only in the right mood. Instead of waiting for the right mood, try to control it. Make it a habit to get in a productive mood every morning (or whenever you start your working day). Make a cup of aromatic coffee, let some fresh air into your room and just do it.
- Write like you speak. Whereas it’s commonly recommended to make your writing style as simple as possible, academic writing is different. It’s necessary to use appropriate professional jargon and avoid any colloquial or even contracted forms.
Which writing tips do you consider the most useless of all? What would you recommend to beginning writers? Thank you very much in advance for sharing your thoughts.