Category «Mistakes»

The single-sitting read (Mistake #114)

There had been no plan to try to do it. Once I’d decided to, once I’d moved past the half-way mark, there was not much consideration for the fact that it would be my first time, were I to succeed. But I was closer to the end than the beginning. It seemed doable. And by then I was …

Can Cook, Won’t Cook (Mistake #113)

Although I now specialise in allergies and intolerances, before that I used to cover diet and nutrition. I eventually got a bit disillusioned with writing about this vitamin, that mineral and those antioxidants. Did my readers really need to know all this detail? Was being informed on such complex matters really necessary? In today’s food culture, I think …

Desperation (Part II) (Mistake #112)

In Desperation (Part I), I wrote the following, which I make no apologies for repeating, this time with emphasis: “Freelance writer” tells the editor you’re available for work.    “Available for work” tells the editor you’re desperate for work.    It’s no good being desperate, because editors can sniff out desperation a mile off, and …

Rejection isn’t personal (Mistake #111)

“Don’t take it to heart.” “It’s them – not you.” “It’s nothing personal.” Share news of a rejection of your work to a friend or loved one and I’ll bet they’ll respond with one of the above – or a variation of. They’re just saying what is expected of them, and being nice. You know …

On writing restaurant reviews (Mistake #110)

Last time, in Mistake No. 109, I wrote about travel writing, and how it shouldn’t be treated as holiday writing. This time, I want to write about restaurant reviewing, and how it shouldn’t be treated as eating-out writing. For that’s the first key mistake I see when I read restaurant reviews by my students: a …

Never giving up (Mistake #108)

I’ve heard all the inspirational quotes. I know the will to persevere is the difference between success and failure. I know that the difference between a writer and a published writer is that the published writer carried on. I know that aspiring writers expect writing advisors and experts to say “Never give up” – and, …

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