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First Time Jitters


Doing things for the first time is always a bit difficult. The apprehension, anxiety and the desire to impress can be overwhelming. In our eagerness to please, we may go overboard. Our inexperience may show through in amateurish work. When writing for the first time, it is important to do our homework and understand our subject, the magazine or website that will carry our article and the people who form our target audience. An article, polished and factually impressive as it may be, may not always be able make an impression among the readers.

Once you receive a favorable reply to your query from the editor, you must begin your homework. Make sure that you understand your topic. Try to look at it from various viewpoints. Authors sometimes tend to look at the subject from their perspective, not keeping in mind the expectations and preferences of the readers. Ask yourself who your readers are and how they would like the article to be. Are they intellectuals who want an in-depth and technical treatment or are they simply school kids who want to know more about a particular science topic? Another important aspect is the word limit. Writing an article that exceeds the word limit and then having to shorten it through editing may take the shine off it. Keep the word limit in mind throughout the writing process.

Now that you have decided on your approach, decide how you will present the article. Where will you introduce the points? It is senseless to let a technically well-researched article fall apart because it is insufficiently coherent, leaving the readers confused, or because there was inadequate attention given to details. Plan your article with an introduction in which you provide your readers with the background to the subject. Follow this with a gradual description. Make sure that you do not overload your audience with information. This can distract your readers from the subject. Introduce the points in the sequence you had decided earlier. Write in simple English so that your article will be easy to understand.

While writing for the first time it is helpful to follow the advice of an experienced and published writer. Any tips and ideas that he may be able to provide will prove invaluable. Although doing something for the first time may give us the jitters, it also provides a sense of adventure. Seeing your article in print can be greatly fulfilling. A well-placed first step can lead to future opportunities and the prospect of a fruitful literary career. So, open your word processor and start writing.



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