This month, I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. Specifically, writing in a longer format, like a book, after hearing some encouragement from friends. This is something I’ve considered for a while, but taking on such a huge project feels quite daunting. While organizing my thoughts on how to start, I was inspired to write to you about writing effectively. This will include my four tips for writing effectively.
What does writing effectively mean to me? It means defining the purpose of you’re writing and being able to communicate what needs to be said clearly. Think about how you’d approach writing an email to your friend vs. writing a term paper. The preparation required for both is incredibly different! Think about what’s in your way for communicating your ideas. Is it other commitments, burnout, physical setup, or writing structure?
I spend lots of time working with people to identify how they are not writing effectively. Usually, it’s less about prose–I’m not a craft writing coach or editor–I work on time/self-management and mindset with clients. When we meet, we’ll talk about content, but mostly it’s about balancing competing priorities, how to make a transition into a task, or focused writing time. It’s how to find the time in your schedule–that’s the kind of planning I get a kick out of! Writing effectively can be helped when you have a partner, time, and space to think about the how and why of what you’re doing.
I have four primary tips for writing effectively:
- Determine what you’re trying to do. What are you trying to write (email, blog post, book, etc.)? What do you need it to do or convey? Do you need answers to questions before you start?
- Do what you can to limit what distracts you. Writing requires focus-not always just monitoring what’s going on around you. Turn off your phone and other notifications, maybe find earplugs or noise-canceling headphones/or some do better with background noise! (as an aside–Youtube has an amazing assortment of tracks, coffee shops, libraries, etc.)
- Check-in with yourself and do what you can to be comfortable, mentally and physically. Are you rested? Do you need a snack?
- JUST START. Sometimes sitting down and starting, even if it’s writing, “I don’t know what to write.” Your first draft is going to be rough, and that’s ok. You don’t have to get it right the first time!
If you’d like some assistance in helping yourself write effectively, be sure to reach out!
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