Category «Mistakes»

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, …

Becoming a Writer (Mistake #106)

Know any Writers? I hope not. I’ve shared breathing space with several over the years and how my personal swearbox remained unfilled on each occasion remains a matter of mystery to me. A Writer is three things: a/ a former aspiring writer b/ a current professional writer, and c/ a writer who wants all current …

Brexit (Mistake #105)

I have my views on the Brexit, but I shan’t tell you them, because you don’t care. I presume you have yours, and I hope you extend me the same courtesy, because I don’t care either. Don’t write about why you think we should stay or why we should go. Do write about what the …

Binning the boring and the bad (Mistake #104)

Some examples of boring ideas: * Me and My Beauty Routine – for a glossy women’s magazine * The NHS is Wonderful – for the Guardian * “I love Dogs” – for a dog magazine These are just terrible. When I see something like this I don’t tell the student they’re terrible, but I do …

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