March, 2009


This Month's Issue

5 Tips for Faster Writing

Employers Value Writing Skills

Links of Interest

5 Tips For Faster Writing

A famous quote says that most writers don't want to write, they want to have written. In order "to have written," you have to write. Sorry. But, you can do a few things that will speed up the actual writing so that you can move to the enjoying it being done.

1. Organize your time.
Know that inspiration comes after you sit down and start writing, not before. Those rare flashes that send you running for the computer cannot be trusted to get the job done. So set aside time each day or each weekend to write. The act of writing, even if it's useless fluff, will draw your muse to you. Beats waiting for inspiration to strike.

2. Have a system.
Whatever you are going to write, devise a system to keep your information organized and at the ready. Systems make the writing easier, too. If you can grab a notecard, for instance, and take it with you to work on in the waiting room at the doctor's office, you'll get more done faster.

3. Keep research simple.
You might even want to write the article or chapter before you research. Draw on what you already know. You can fill in the gaps (mark them with a blank or asterisks) later. By doing it this way, you only go after the information you need, rather then suffering from overload. This frees up a lot of otherwise wasted time.

4. Use an outline.
I know, this one is common. But it works. Especially for nonfiction. Outlines don't have to be formal Roman Numeral laden documents. They can be a list of questions you want to answer. If you are writing an article, you can list the questions you are trying to answer in the article, put them in logical order, and then write a few paragraphs to answer each question.

5. Write.
How is that a tip for faster writing? Simple, every word you put on paper (or screen) puts you closer to finsihing the project. You can do all of the organizing, time management, and outlining in the world. If you don't actually write, it won't get done.

Using these five tips will speed up every writing project, from the essay for school to the nonfiction book manuscript sitting in your desk drawer.


Employers Value Writing Skills

If you work a day job and want to get ahead, write your own ticket.

Today's job market is harsh. And there seems to be no end in sight. Yet. So, if you have a job you like, even a little, use your writing skills to keep that job. Or get a promotion. Or a raise (yes, those still happen).

How?

Think about every aspect of your job that requires writing. Do you send emails? Maybe you write for the company newsletter. Or you draft correspondence to clients and vendors. Whatever your writing tasks, the goal is to make your words work for you.

Start simple, by using correct spelling and punctuation. Next, check your word choice. Can you use an active verb to punch up your prose? Have you fallen into bad habits like using jargon? Or slang? Break those habits.

More and more positions require employees to have at least basic writing ability. Use your writing to stand out in the crowd. Show your employer the thought and care you put into all of your work by putting it into your writing.


Links of Interest

Tackling the Essay Assignment

Plan Your Speech

Start Your Own Website


See you next time!

Sincerely,

Mary Klaebel