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How to Write With Surgical Precision

When you write something, an article, a book chapter, even a letter, how do you do it? What I mean is, do you find writing easy and effortless or do you work at it, at least a bit?

The aura that surrounds writers includes the perceived ability of professional writers to write well the first time, every time. People who are not writers seem to think that people who are writers have some secret gift for putting words on paper the right way the first time.

Do you write it and your’e done? Or do you write it, read it, edit or rewrite, read it again, then repeat the process?

Inevitably, every time I teach “Writing for Results,” someone says they’re taking my class because they want to learn how to ‘do it right the first time.” By ‘do it right’ they mean they want to write, with every word, sentence, and phrase correct the first time and be done with it.

Delving into their determination to do it right the first time usually yields the information that their sixth grade teacher or a college professor told them they couldn’t write and never would.

Let me assure you that even professional writers usually do not write perfectly correct the first time. We write our first draft, then we mull that over. Then we rewrite our second draft. Sometimes we may even write a third or fourth draft or more. At some point, we decide that what we have written will do and we begin to copyedit the document. That may take us through it a few more times.

I usually tell my students, “If you want to do it right the first time, you need to get over that because doing it right requires more than one time through the document.

If it’s any comfort to those of you who still feel like you need to do it right the first time, keep in mind that writing with the surgical precision you think professional writers have is a result of the writing and editing process.

On a magazine the editorial process goes something like this: the writer writes a first draft, re-reads it and writes a second draft (or third). The writer then submits the article to the magazine’s editor who edits it. The editor then hands the article to the magazine’s copyeditor who does a thorough copyedit. The copyeditor then hands the article to the magazine’s proofreader who does the final editorial review prior to shipping it to the printer.

I get exhausted just thinking about the editorial process for one little article. . . .

Write On With Confidence!

Practicing What I Teach

Have you ever had one of those days when you can’t write what you’re supposed to be writing? The kind of day when the words just won’t come. No creativity. And you start to panic. . .

The other day I was telling a friend that I just couldn’t finish a chapter in my latest book. The words, the thoughts just weren’t there. I told my friend that when I teach my Writing for Publication class, it’s so easy. I started to say, ” I teach my students how to use The Professional” and Oops! I realized where I was going wrong.

“I think I just got the answer to my dilemma,” I laughed, then continued. “I need to practice what I teach.” You see, in my class, Writing for Publication, I teach my students how to use The Professional Writers Secret Weapon. This Secret Weapon is so amazing because when writers use it, their article, book, newsletter, whatever they are writing, practically writes itself. Honest!

I’ve been teaching this class for nearly 15 years and every student who correctly uses and applies the Professional Writers Secret Weapon not only has reported back to me that they’ve sold what they wrote. They’ve each confirmed that what they were writing practically wrote itself.

If you’re curious about The Professional Writers Secret Weapon? Check out my online Writing for Publication class right now. You don’t want to miss a thing.

But back to that last chapter. It’s finished and the book is ready for publication. It’ the Business of Freelancing and it’s available to you, my readers, at the Writers Inkwell store.