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10 steps to make writing easier

We have all sat trying to write something, waiting for inspiration that will not come. The harder we try, the more frustrating the whole process becomes. However there are simple techniques that will help to get ideas flowing.

Here are my top ten tips:

1. Brainstorm

Write down any ideas that come to mind when you think about the topic about which you are writing. Do not worry about relevance, grammar, spelling, neatness or writing full sentences.

The key is to get your brain engaged without overthinking. It is helpful to space your ideas out as this stops your thinking becoming cramped.

2. Walk away

Ideally you would put your brainstorming away for at least a day but even an hour or two will help. the brainstorming starts to free up ideas. The key is to then let your subconscious continue the work.

Remember the time you couldn't recall the name of a song or an actor and then at 2am the name sprang into your mind? Your subconscious had been working away on the problem without impinging on your conscious mind.

3. Go back to your brainstorming

Read through your brainstorming notes. At this point in time, you might discard some ideas and add others.

4. Order your ideas

Put ideas in order of importance or relevance, adding examples if necessary.

5. Walk away

Let your subconscious do some more work. Again, the longer the better but even an hour will help.

6. Start writing

At this stage do not worry about spelling or grammar. The main aim is to get ideas flowing and you do not want anything to interrupt this process.

7. Walk away

This means you can come back to the document with fresh eyes.

8. Read through your document

Make sure you are happy with the ideas and the flow of your writing. You can also check grammar and spelling.

9. Walk away

It is important to give yourself distance so you will recognise errors such as ambiguity. It is possible to become too close to what you are writing.

10. Final edit

Read your document aloud as this will make you more aware of anything that needs correcting or improving. If possible, ask someone else to read your document.

In closing,…

Ten steps might sound cumbersome but this is actually less time consuming and decidedly less stressful than sitting, trying to force ideas out. The process can be adapted to individual likes – for example, some people find it helps to think about their writing while exercising. However, the key is the initial brainstorming as it helps the ideas to flow.

What techniques do you use to help you to write your documents?


Merryl Watkins

Merryl Watkins is a freelance writer with experience in policy and document writing as part of her work in the education sector. She has been active in community organisations, utilising her skills and providing her expertise in executive roles.
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