6 Writing Mistakes I See All the Time
As a professional writer and the editor of a viral publication, I see writers making the same fatal errors day in and day out when producing their content.
It’s a shame. Often, a piece will tick so many boxes and yet leave a few critical ones unchecked.
Small, easily-fixable errors turn an excellent article into an average one. A few simple mistakes can paint a writer as sloppy and incompetent in the eyes of their readers, a title that is both underserved and quick to amend.
As I go about my editing responsibilities, I frequently take notes in another tab when I spy these errors. I’ve been compiling a short list of the most common mistakes I’ve spotted in the articles I read, and it’s this list that I’d like to share with you today.
There are six key blunders I see all of the time.
Let’s get right into them.
1. Switching Person When Making a Point
One of the most common mistakes I spot has to do with the perspective of the writer. All the time I see authors jumping between first, second, and third person, even within the same sentence.
Take a look at the following example I pulled from a recent submission:
“Yet many of us are motivated by the wrong reasons. Because of this, no matter what they accomplish in life, they’ll never find the fulfillment, joy, or peace of mind they wanted all along.”
While difficult to spot by the untrained eye, the writer leaps from referring to his audience as ‘us’, to ‘they’, in another sentence.
That leaves us asking questions.
- Who is the writer?
- Are they a member of the same crowd as the reader, or are they not?
- Are they one of us, or them?
The answer is unclear.
Indeed, this point might seem mundane and insignificant, but it makes a big difference. Bouncing back and forth between persons will only confuse your reader and make your work seem scattered and untidy.