Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Integrity means striving always to write your best


Writers need to learn a fundamental rule of integrity: Do the best you can to deliver what you promise.

I was thinking about this because I’ve been disappointed with a couple of novels I read recently. Their substance didn’t begin to live up to the hype from the jacket copy; in fact their substance seemed below par for the best-selling author’s past performance.

None of us can hit a home run every time at bat, to use a lame metaphor, but we all have to try. And the best way to live with yourself, no matter what kind of writing you do, is to make sure you’ve given the writing effort 100 percent.

I think this tends to be a special issue with people who write content for websites, and for website or blog owners who purchase content then adapt or edit it. In fact, I briefly paid a month’s membership fee to a website that was supposed to be teaching methods to make money with blogs and websites and their special emphasis was “always do quality work.” Yet despite the mantra of “quality first,” they furnished some pre-built websites and pre-written web copy that was less than mediocre with blatant language errors and just downright awful writing.

A few years ago, Microsoft offered a Promotional flash drive to anyone who went to a particular website, took a survey, and left their address. When I found out about the offer (I really don’t remember the details right now), I raced over there, did the survey, left my address, and eagerly awaited the free thumb drive.

There are many reasons I and many other computer users are irritated with Microsoft and all of the company’s software shortcomings. But there’s an extra “beef” against them on my part — after waiting something like THREE MONTHS for my free thumb drive, I finally got an email from Microsoft telling me the offer had been suspended because they ran out of thumb drives.

As a writer, do your best. Do everything possible within a story or book you’re writing to “deliver” on all your plot and characters promise. Don’t promise more than you deliver — uh, like, Microsoft for example.