As I look back over the course of my long and varied writing career, there is not one single achievement I have accomplished entirely on my own. Everything that I have done — whether it has been a blog post, article or full-length novel — has been accomplished only with some sort of outside assistance. The assistance I received has been both direct and indirect, and even though the scale has varied depending on the size and scope of the project, I always have had some kind of support throughout my career. Obviously, I am a firm believer in mentoring and continuing education, but I also believe it is important to recognize those who are committed to helping others achieve their personal goals.
Professional writers often work hand-in-hand with editors on all manner of writing projects. While there are often frustrations associated with ceding control to someone else in the creative process, the assistance of an editor is critical when it comes to making a piece as good as it can be. By imposing deadlines and demanding pages, editors keep you on track and push you to work on those days when you feel little inspiration to do so. As a blogger, however, I often am without an editor, which means I have to rely on myself to be a proofreader while also finding external sources of motivation.
One of the things I recommend to all beginning bloggers is to find someone who is willing to read your work with a critical eye in exchange for doing the same. This practice will ensure that you get constructive feedback on what you have written, especially since commenting sections tend to focus on the content of a post rather than the manner in which it is presented. An exchange of feedback does not have to happen on each and every post, but the impact of even the slightest of constructive criticism can be tremendous.
Some bloggers will dismiss this advice simply due to the fact that this approach would require collaborating with “the competition.” I like to view fellow bloggers as peers rather than competitors, and it is my feeling that it is best to follow the example set by Dr. Richard Ottomeyer, a chiropractic doctor who won the Medicare Physician Champion Community of Practice Provider for his nationwide effort to educate his peers on coming changes in the medical field. This sort of approach is beneficial to all, and there is no reason it should not be applied to blogging.