Write with a Purpose or not at all
I don’t ever want to become one of those people who writes an article every day or every week or whatever just for the sake of writing an article. When writers do that, their works lack something — the only thing — that counts in writing. They lack authenticity. The articles are produced quickly, with little respect given to the words that meet the page, and it shows. The poor editing that accompanies articles produced in such a manner is evident, as numerous typos and grammatical errors lie within, even in the articles of so-called “professionals”.
To me, the professional is not the one who writes quickly and sloppily for the sake of creating something, anything, that can be read by a large audience. Instead, the true professional is the one who adds something of value to the conversation. The words of a professional are not meant to be light and meaningless; they should make the readers think. If a piece of writing does not inform or provoke on the highest level possible, then why is it even being written? Sure, some writers are simply better than others at conjuring up fancy phrases and making the readers feel something deep within their souls, but that is not what I mean to be arguing here. There is a big difference between being a great writer, and writing something that has passion in it, and readers can always tell the difference.
I have read an alarming number of articles that serve no functional purpose, and afterwards, I feel robbed. If I am not informed, inspired, or infuriated after reading a work of writing, the author has stolen my time. In the era of mass communication, when anybody with either a computer or phone that can access to the internet can publish on the web, this problem is only growing worse. Writers often complain about not being taken seriously enough when they admit that writing is their profession. However, if the type of writing that these “professional writers” produce is anything close to the mass amount of writing found on the web, it is no wonder that they receive such criticisms.
If writers wish to be taken seriously, they must hold themselves accountable. They must hold themselves, and their peers, to higher standards. Instead of writing meaningless articles intended solely for the purpose of getting the most clicks and shares, they need to write something of substance. Real writers must necessarily put a part of themselves into everything that they write. If not, the work will always fall flat.
Readers, too should demand more from the writers of the world. A writer who writes something without any value is wasting your time by having you read it. And in wasting your time, they are wasting a part of your life that you can never reclaim. There is no need to worry about hurting the writer’s feelings, because any real writer will be able to survive even the toughest criticism, and hopefully, will learn from it as well.
If you are a reader, be it of newspapers, novels, or anything in between, read only the good stuff, especially if it means leaving something half read. If you are a writer, no matter your medium of expression, give the world your best or give them nothing. This is the only way. Life is too short to waste a single moment reading bad writing.