Grow Up!

Not all writers are created equal.  Some of them have been working at it for a really long time.  And the biggest difference between good writers and (you fill in the blank here) is experience. 

So I’ve compiled a list of habits that mature writers routinely practice that tend to produce better writing.  Which of these describes you?  Do you tend to fall on the developing side of the list, or are you more of a mature writer? 

Which habit could you drop today?  Which one could you work on over the next 6 months? 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll post some practical suggestions for how to move from the Developing category to the Mature.  And as I do so, I’d love to hear your feedback.  What’s your biggest challenge as a writer?  Post your comments here, email me at:  And be sure to follow me on Twitter:  @CorpWritingPro

 Developing Writers   Mature Writers
Solicit no feedback from others, or ask only for proofreading.   Engage with peers and colleagues at all stages in the writing process, from brainstorming to organizing to drafting and revising.
Research, organize, and draft in a single sitting, with little or no revision.   Chunk or block their time, performing activities in sections of between 90 and 120 minutes over several days or weeks.
Juggle many writing tasks at the same time.   Separate tasks so that they perform just one function at a time. 
Revise as they write.   Save revision for a later time.
Are easily distracted by the way a word looks on the page or the way a sentence sounds to them.   Note problems using tickmarks, special fonts, or highlighting, but remain focused on the central task.
Revise a first draft by looking at it word by word.   Look first at the entire purpose, content, and structure before they begin revising for diction, syntax, and punctuation.
Write about the process of researching and writing.   Create context for the information they convey.
Quote frequently.   Use quotations when appropriate inside paraphrases and summaries.

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