Three Steps To Better Writing
Do you hate to write? Does it take you a long time to get the
words on the page? Usually when people struggle to write, it's because they are
trying to edit as they go along. There is an easier way to write and be more
Step 1 - Write
It's hard to be creative if you're editing at the same time. When you begin
your writing project don't think about word choices or punctuation. Just write.
Don't read your work. Just write. It will be difficult at first because you will
be tempted to make changes. Resist the temptation! Just write. You'll find that
thoughts and ideas start flowing once you stop editing. When you've finished
writing put it away for a couple of days. When you take it out, become the
editor and start making your changes.
Step 2 - Edit
Read through your work, then mark the parts you want to change or revise.
Focus in on the paragraphs, sentences and words that need revision. Get more
specific with each round of edits. Read the piece again, then focus in on
specific passages, sentences, paragraphs that you want to shape up. When you're
finished, read the entire piece again.
Now would be a good time to use the spell checker. However, don't depend on
it to catch all of the errors. If you write "your" and you really meant "you're"
the spell checker won't catch it. It's not a misspelled word. Unless your spell
checker points out commonly confused words, it won't find the problem.
Step 3 - Listen
Satisfied with your changes? Read your work out loud so that you'll be more
likely to catch missing words, incorrect tenses or repetitive phrases. It will
also allow you to catch places where perhaps a word can be changed to a more
appropriate one, or a sentence can be reworked so that it flows better. Make
additional revisions and read it again.
If time permits, put your work away for another day or two. Give yourself
some distance from the work, so when you read it again you'll be less likely to
be filling in words or meanings that aren't there. You'll be able to see it as
though you were reading it for the first time. If possible have someone else
read it and give you feedback. Perhaps another "pair of eyes" will find that a
thought or concept isn't coming across as you intended.
You know what you want to say, but that doesn't mean that your readers will
get it. Having someone else read the work will give you another perspective. In
fact, it would be better to have a few people read it, especially if your work
will be presented to a large audience. Take the feedback and determine what
makes sense and what doesn't. For instance, if the majority of your feedback
mentions a specific issue, pay attention.
Allow yourself to write whatever comes to mind without editing. Let your
ideas flow and you'll see how easy it is to get your words on the page.
Copyright © 2007 Deborah A. Bailey, Writing Services Central, LLC
About the Author:
Deborah A. Bailey is a professional writer and owner of Writing Services
Central, LLC. Her company provides expert writing and editing services to
entrepreneurs. Subscribe to the free monthly ezine for writing and editing tips
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