The Lazy Writer

Why is writing easier for some than others? Most successful writers I know, consider writing hard work. Is it possible, some are putting in more effort than others? Does the lack of extra effort make your writing less effective? Some might describe this lack of effort as laziness.

So then, what makes a writer lazy? There are four writing faux pas that will surely lead to winning the award for Lazy Writing.

  1. 1. Procrastination – Do you tend to make excuses when it’s time to start writing? Do you keep putting off that writing project for a better time? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, you may be a procrastinator. Procrastination in writing leads to missed deadlines, or rushed writing which may result in a final product riddled with errors.

  2. 2. No Research – Written documents lacking valuable research have a high likelihood of including outdated or false information. Many times we may think we know something to be fact, however if there is no research or fact checking to support it, there is no way to be sure. If someone later goes back and fact checks your work, only to find incorrect information, your entire document could be invalidated; even if there was only one incorrect statement. When this happens, it will become difficult for that writer to repair his reputation.

  3. 3. Plagiarizing – Plagiarizing isn’t only lazy. It’s illegal. Being a writer is defined as someone who has original creative thoughts and ideas they turn into words on a particular subject. When a writer uses someone else’s original words without giving them credit, and passing them off as their own ideas, it is stealing. In any industry, whether it be academic, business, media or any other, plagiarism is morally wrong and there are consequences to this offense.

  4. 4. No editing/proofreading – Editing and proofreading work is an essential step for any writer. This step in the writing process is when errors are identified. It’s rare the first draft of any written work becomes the final product. After editing, proofreading and additional thoughts or ideas, the original draft that was a good document, can become a phenomenal polished product after it has gone through the editing/proofreading process. When you skip this step in the writing process, you are doing yourself and your audience a disservice.

While the writing faux pas above can lead to lazy writing, there are ways to avoid being lazy.

  1. 1. If you know you are a procrastinator, the first thing you can do is to accept it. Acceptance is always the first step to solving any problem. Once you have made peace with the issue, you should then think of a strategy to combat your procrastination. The best way to combat procrastination in writing is to create a schedule breaking your writing time into small increments rather than completing the project in one sitting. By doing this, you will have plenty of time to complete the writing project and the time you take in between your scheduled time allotments will allow you opportunities to generate new thoughts and ideas to add to your work. There are certainly other strategies that could also work for this problem. Sit down and consider what strategy will work best for you.

  2. 2. While it may be true we all know a lot about a lot of things, it is NOT true that we know everything about any thing. What do I mean by this? Let me explain. No one knows every single thing about any one topic. Even experts will complete research in their areas of expertise to validate their information. When you are writing any content, ask yourself questions to follow up on. This will ensure your writing project is validated. Any fact you are reporting in a non-subjective way should be validated through research. The research can then be cited. This research adds value to your work and lets readers know you take your work seriously.

  3. 3. When writing that all important project, we all want to sound smart. It’s easy to go online to Google and type in a couple of words and have all the information you need on any given subject at your fingertips. We add this valuable information to our paper, checking off the research box and call it a day. But, there was one step we forgot to do. We forgot to give the original author credit for his words. Anyone who reads the document may think those were your original words. This makes you a thief. There is an easy fix to this dilemma. Cite the author of the text. Add quotes when necessary and add links whenever appropriate. This will let your readers know you did your research, which validates your information and you included the original author’s text to add value to your own.

  4. 4. Some may find the most boring part of any writing project is the editing/proofreading stage. To me, this is when all the magic happens. At this point in the project is when writing goes from good to great and sometimes even from great to phenomenal. Why? Well, it is at this time you can switch gears from writer to reader. You become the first audience for your work. At this time you can read it from your readers’ perspective and make those changes or incorporate new thoughts and ideas. Before you submit any writing project you should first, read it. After you read it the first time, you should read it again. After you read it the second time, you should walk away from it. An hour or two later, you should come back and read it again. Each time you read it, you should make appropriate edits. By the last time you completed reading the project, you should have made all edits possible and added new thoughts and ideas. You can then submit this work knowing it’s your best.

Once you’ve added these all-important strategies to your work, you will never be considered a lazy writer again. Adding a little extra effort will have phenomenal results in your writing. Any reader will see your work was well thought out with well-supported information. Your work will be more creative and full of personality giving it a unique edge that cannot be duplicated in any other writer’s work. You will also be taken more seriously as a writer and accepted by the writing community. This all validates you as a professional writer who is on the right track for a successful career.