Online Writing 101 – Infinarium’s Take on Good Writing Skills

Casey Nolan

by - | 5 years ago
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18 Sep

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If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision.

It could mean mockery — isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way.

There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is. – Charles Bukowski

 


H

ello there everyone. It’s been a while since I opened a word doc to scribble something useful. Truth be told, sometimes we kind of hold objects and people to a “useful” status as long as they’re doing us any favors. It is a rude way of expressing such ‘sentiments’ but they had to be touted out somehow.

Online WriterAnyway, the “other guy” inside me; the one who reeks of a modicum of helping attitude, wanted to reach out to startup writers in the online world. The economy is kind of flustered like a patch of dandelions at the moment. Times are turbulent as ever and even old grannies are no longer relying on the current financial standings in general.

Therefore, writing is perhaps one of the most profitable niches to work with. Neil Patel is one of the ongoing inspirations these days. I know for sure that this guy can’t write a novel or conduct a symphony orchestra with his words. But yeah, he can write all too well about his subject matter. Neil is an e-preneur, and among other writers on the internet, I respect him for the way he writes about his professional intake on the online trends.

So here’s to all the wanna-be writers who will achieve either one of the appended goals:

 

  • Become a master of words in the online novel industry, blogging, tech norms or anything else for that matter.

  • Get Hired by ‘The National’ as a domestic booty kickin’ long term writer  😀

  • Or only go as far as a few blocks, and then give up eventually.

 

The Makings of a Great Proverbial Writer | Keep The Fire Burnin’:

Coincidentally, ‘The National’ is budding to hire writers these days. The interviews and CVs that I’ve had dealt with so far, are not what an editor would look for. Based on the most current demands of the industry, here’s what will work for you, and what won’t work for you in the long run:

  • Coherence is proportionate to inspiration:

Coherence is what I’d like to apply to all levels of writing. You want to make a few extra bucks; you take up the gig for a tech news writer and where does it land you after 10 years? Eventually, you’ll crash and burn. I think it is very important to find your inner flame.

–          What inspires your inner writer?

–          What kind of content category is your most favorite?

–          Is there a special writer that you aspire to be, one day? If yes, who is it?

Catch my drift? You have to write something that you can fall in love with. Otherwise you will never be a good writer. This brings us to our next point.

  • What Makes a Good Writer?

Online WriterThere are millions of online writing gigs. WAHM is always looking for writers, Digital Point Forums is overflowing with applications and WTS skills, oDesk and Elance are going side by side in the writing industry. Tons of proposals are being submitted by writers who are JUST LIKE YOU, but why is it all so saturated? Why is the selection margin so low?

At least, you got one thing figured out by now. The selection margin is low because no one wants to hire a sloppy writer. That’s correct, ain’t it? So, what is it that makes a sloppy writer? I don’t know about others but here’s how I would judge a writer.

  1. I’d measure your writing skills on the basis of content readability, content comprehension levels (how easy is your sentence structure), clarity of sentences and many other things.
  2. Vocabulary is always going to be the second tool in my list. I am not impressed with the excess use of Thesaurus. It’s not a marathon guys. You either write short simple and crispy sentences, or you just write something like this:


Doth De Bladeth De Ye Olde’ Dungeon? Ipso Blafso blah blah woke up to call the forces of nature…

  • Practice, practice and practice like there’s no end to it. You will never make it to the top if you’re just juggling clients like a joker. For instance, while I used to work as a freelance writer, I made the mistake of working with 3 different clients.

The money was way too good. My family needed some crumby dough; hence I did the “needful”. If I had to write 10 articles at an online Travelogue, I’d do so by “researching” for the content. “Research” is where startup writers get literally screwed.

What normally happens is that you’re going to end up with article directories with a wide range of the kind of content that your client is asking for. Now you will just take a mixture of paragraphs, important headings and various other things to rewrite it all in your wording.

The client will probably complain about the tone. Things will eventually sink in and you’ll all go home happy. Whilst performing this charade parade, you are literally stuffing your GENUINE writing skills under the rug. They get dusty to the point that you lose your originality, your tone, your style. Then there’s no coming back. Actually there is but it’s the hardest thing ever.


B

ut then again, you need the money and you need to write not just for the love of it. The only plausible solution is to write a little extra for your own sake. Keep the fire burnin’ in there my friends. If you have lost your moxy, there’s no point in writing for clients. They’ll trample you with content related mini quests. You will go on a writing high for a good 5 years, only to end up crippled and lost on the internet.

Therefore, find your own expression. Get in touch with your style and learn to express things your way. ‘The National’ is hiring people like hell. Literally, I need writers. We could use some new blood but no I don’t want:

  • Block Paragraph Horatios
  • Content Scrapping Whores
  • Delinquent Researchers
  • “Great” Writers, who don’t have their own Voice
  • “Great” Writers, who cant write anything without material availability!!!

 

Writing 101 – Actual Writing Tips | Infinarium’s Best:

Online WriterThis post is NOT for those people, who want to make a living as a writer. Granted that I don’t consider myself a pro, I’d want to share whatever little I have learned over the past 4 years as one of the best and highest paid online writers ever. (My going rate for 800 words is $20)

Think of the following situation:

Tom Paxton had a great idea about a new story. He bet a 100 bucks that he could damn write it. The way those thoughts rammed through his mind; the drag seemed like a simple get in- get out job. “Alrite, umm where did I put that no good pen?” Worried, Tom stifled through his drawers.

His hands eventually groped in on it. “I know it’s in there somewhere… ah there it is”. Ten seconds past the ticker, Tom had his left foot shaking. He always does it when he’s in the middle of doing something creative. But Tom’s 10 seconds turned to 10 hours with a blank piece ‘o paper.

This is what an ACTUAL writing scenario is. Think you can handle the heat? Can you write something on your own – just for the love of it? Enough said, let’s get down to business.

 

Get Rid of Any Bad Habits:

When I was struggling with my pen n paper gigs, I had this bad habit of capitalizing every first alphabet of every single word. I Used To Write Like This. That’s called a bad form of writing. Proofreaders will immediately lob some proverbial grenades at you without prior warning.

My first version of that profile at Elance.Com was a mess. I called in some favors and had a guy look through it; he bish-bashed me all the way to kingdom come. He was a proofreader. Not just any kind of proofreader; his whole life was a living version of perfection.

He was my first critic – always telling me what not to do. I learned to get rid of my habit of making every word look special (which in my opinion was only possible if I could convert every first alphabet to caps). So here’s a side note for you;

–          Do NOT capitalize every first alphabet of every damn word in your sentence. Unless and until it is a title, a small bullet point statement or something that needs to be dealt with in a special way.

 

Simplicity vs. Complexity:

Online WriterIf it takes a simple sentence to express something, go ahead and do the needful. Yeah, I know, everyone craves to write like ‘Leo Tolstoy’ and ‘Faulkner’, but we have to start from somewhere at ground level. Having said that; when you are an advanced level writer; you will be using parenthesis based sentences. A parenthesis sentence normally consists of interrupters. They have commas and a non-restrictive participle/subordinate.

For instance,

–          Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, made an announcement today.

  • Notice that the first and the last portion make sense even if we remove the “the CEO of Apple” area. This is what parenthesis sentences are all about. You can use them to your advantage but bear in mind that the overall sentence has to make sense in the absence of the ‘CEO of Apple’
  • Often times when proofreaders are going through such types of sentences, they normally read the portion before and after the commas. It’s just to make sure that the sentence structure is in order.

Practice Makes Perfect:

I’d advise you to read these two books, THROUGH and THROUGH:

–          On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

–          The Elements of Style (4th Edition) – William Strunk Jr. And E.B. White

You can go through Stephen King’s book first – Read the initial 140 pages and you’ll be filled in on a lot of useful information. The second book is perfect for straightening out sentence structure, style of writing and stuff like that.

Online Writer | Stephen King - The NationalStephen King writes: “I turned in my first two pieces: write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out.” The statement means that you have to write something that synchronizes with what your readers are looking for.

Many a times, you can’t write straight or a good enough piece of content because you wrote it for your eyes only. Develop a habit of revising your articles every now and then. At times, you’ll be correcting mistakes and spicing up sentences from the ones that were written by you months ago.

For me, summarizing the entire essence of writing is a herculean task. There’s so much stuff to talk about, such as; “conjunctions”, “adverbial phrases”, “compound sentences”, compound subjects” and “complements”. God knows what else is in there. Trust me, if you really want to be a good writer, you should go through those books that I mentioned earlier.

Stephen King’s Perception about Writers:

King believes that there are good writers and bad writers. It’s another thing that Stevie is also using his creative ink to make money, while under the pretext of helping you. I’d say that the guy is allowed to do so, as he has earned it. 

To him, if all writers are combined in a pyramid form, the top layer would consist of those fellas who are pros. The medium level will consist of writers who’ll always be at the same level. They’re normally freelance journalists, online article writers, sales letter writers and bloggers in modern world.

Sigh, the bottom layer is abundantly full of people who want to be writers but they don’t have the potential to do so. You see, according to great literary legends like King, Shakespeare, Dan Brown, Robin Cook; they all had a knack for writing. They have a way of breathing life into sentences.

 

Read as Much as You Can:

If I were to assess my writing skills, they are still in the middle of the improvement process. For writing, you have to read a lot of books. It doesn’t matter what category they belong to, just make sure that you are reading something on timely basis.

Reading will automatically inspire you to write good stuff. Believe me, after months of reading novels or even porn stories (not judging you!), your style will change. If you’re not committing yourself to reading, your thought process and idea generation will cease to desist at one point.

Closing thoughts… For Now:

Online Writer

T

he above tips and experiences merely scratched the surface. Writing is a plethora of different skills and styles. Learn to develop your own style, which you can only do so by reading different books. If you’re reading fiction novels, your writing will be a reflection of that particular writer’s style.

I wouldn’t call it copying, as I believe that this particular stage is essential to a startup writer’s growth. It’s essential to experimenting and letting yourself discover your own style through a natural course of time. So, always keep your head high and write as much as you can. And if someone tells you that your writing sucks or you can’t be a good writer, don’t pay any attention. However, don’t forget to take a note of what critics are saying, and try to improve yourself gradually.


Now go ahead and send me a flurry of hate mails. Wrap them with your CV and maybe you’re the girl/ guy we have been looking for. Keep me posted at

techguy@infinarium.com with the subject: “Gun For Hire Writer”.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 at 1:50 AM and is filed under Reviews, Tech Norms. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Casey Nolan

About Casey Nolan

Hello everyone, I am Bilal Malik AKA 'Casey Nolan'; Head Editor and owner of 'Infinarium.Com'. For product reviews, article requests, recommendations, or if you just want to get something off your chest, send me an email at techguy@infinarium.com.

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