Keep it Simple – Advice for New Writers

by Alycia King

andrew-schrage-savings-headshotThere’s much for new writers to learn, especially from seasoned veterans. As the editor-in-chief of Money Crashers Andrew Schrage has learned a few tricks along the way that can help new writers be more successful.

It’s easy for writers to become captive in the projects they are working on. It’s not unusual to spend hours in front of the computer without so much as a water break until a project is complete. To produce great work, Schrage said, “You need to step away from the screen.”

“Very few writers can actually sit in front of a computer for eight hours straight and produce top-notch content by the end of the day,” Schrage said. “Over time, writers learn that breaks are an important part of the work day and help them to manage their time more effectively.”

Something as simple as briefly walking away to get a cup of coffee can allow a writer to come back to the material with fresh eyes. Breaks like that are important because writing is, as Schrage said, hard work.

“In this day and age, people want information, but they don’t want to spend a lot of time digging through wordy articles to get what they need,” he said. “If there’s a way to state a point in four words instead of five, do so.”

Writers also need to be prepared to deal with feedback, and be able to do so in a professional manner. Schrage advises new writers to develop a thick skin early on in their careers.

Handling critique can prove challenging at times, but it’s important to not to react emotionally. Feedback provides opportunities for growth and can be turned into positive motivation for improvement.

“No matter who you write for, you’re going to face criticism from fellow writers, editors and the general public,” said Schrage. “Not everyone is going to like what you write about or how you write, and if you can’t accept this, you run the risk of becoming frustrated and giving up.”

The best advice Schrage has for writers, regardless of experience, is short and sweet: keep it simple.