When I think back to the first few years of my writing career, I can’t help but wonder how much easier and more successful they could have been if I knew then what I know now.
Here are five ways that getting professional feedback on your writing—from a writing coach or editor—can help you take your story from idea to publication:
1. Find the most compelling hook and focus
Writers tend to be creative, so we have an abundance of interesting ideas and can often tell the same story from a variety of angles. That can make it challenging to decide on the focus and the hook that your audience will find most engaging. Sometimes writers are too close to a story to see the forest for the trees, or they get distracted by details, go off on tangents and lose their way. Feedback from a professional can help narrow your focus to the best angle suited to your target audience… and where your story should begin.
2. Structure the story or content for your readers
There are many ways to tell a story and a variety of structures you can use to share content, whether you’re writing a blog post, a travel article or a book. While new writers often struggle with finding the right structure for a story or article, often delaying writing for days or weeks, a pro will be able to spot several strong structural options within hours.
3. Help find your true voice
It takes most writers at least a few years to find their authentic voice and a lifetime to refine it. Many of the writers I coach adopt a voice that sounds more academic than the way they normally speak or go the opposite route and try to sound more casual or “hip” than they really are. A good editor or writing coach will help you to identify your authentic voice; it’s the one that actually sounds like you.
4. Support and challenge you to do your best
Friends and family can be great at supporting your efforts as a writer, but they may not be willing or able to help you improve. A pro will let you know if you’re on the right track and be honest about whether what you’re doing is working. He or she will give you constructive redirection if you need it, challenge you to stretch beyond your self-imposed limitations, and produce the highest-quality work you’re capable of.
5. Increase your confidence
While the first four ways a pro can help are incredibly valuable, there’s a fifth element that can make the difference between completing a piece that you’re proud of and ditching the attempt along the way. That element is belief. When someone who’s a successful writer reviews your work and has certainty that you can accomplish what you’re setting out to do, it can make all the difference in the world.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]