@Jennifer M wrote:
This is why I like technical writing. Dry, bland just get to the point. Had an editor female dog me cuz my intro was too fluffy the other day and told me to get to the point. WELL HOOVER OK
One of my clients recently used that term for one of my paragraphs in a white paper I wrote for them.
I asked him, "Well, what exactly do you want this to say? What is your point (he gave me an outline and then said "write"....so I did!)?"
It's a new experience having the word "fluffy" used in reference to my writing.
I had two articles that I put off for over a week because I couldn't get them started!
Fortunately, these are articles that will be edited by others. If I could get anything written, I could then receive feedback. So that's what I decided to do- write anything!
Here are the actual steps I took to get these projects completed:
I assigned the article to my sleeping self. Our brains use the time that we are sleeping to work out complex problems. So before bed, I intentionally thought about my article topic.
The next day, I let myself warm up a little by relaxing, coffee, emails, etc. Then I set a deadline.
Finally, I just started writing on the topic.
Once I had a few paragraphs, it was easier to start moving things around and seeing a "hook."
I think the key, as others have mentioned is to go ahead and get something written. Engage your brain in the project and let something come to you. At the very least, you can outline the facts that your writing will highlight. Then you can wrap the context around those facts.
I used to do a lot of freewriting to get started on particularly difficult academic papers and it's rolled over nicely into freelance writing. If I'm not sure how to get started I just write what I'm thinking, just get it all on the paper even if it all looks like nonsense, it helps clarify my thoughts. It breaks the block for me and I usually find a point or two that can stick around then I build a new intro on top of that.
It was a nice trick for me when handwriting essays for exams. Give me a multiple choice test and I might bomb even if I knew the material, but give me a nice essay and I can write for hours and remember more the longer I write.
I usually skip the intro if I'm struggling, and then come back to it, something usually crawls out of my idea box in the meantime. lol
But when I just feel like I've hit a wall, I go out and play with my dogs. A bit of pooch time helps clear out my mind and gives me a much-needed boost.
I wash the dishes. I know that sounds silly, but it's a relatively short task that doesn't require any brain power, and probably the running water is soothing or stimulating something in my brain or something, because nearly every time I go back to the computer knowing exactly what I'm going to say, though I haven't been consciously thinking about it.
I might try to get something written down, even if I'm sure it needs more work. If I can't even manage that then I'll just walk away, perhaps try doing something else for a while or call it a day completely. It's often a lot easier with a fresh mind the following day.
One thing I don't do is sit there struggling to get it done. It doesn't work. The harder you try, the harder it gets and and you end up achieveing nothing other than stressing yourself out.
@Melanie M wrote:
I believe Hemingway also said, "Write drunk; edit sober." I haven't tried that one yet. Anybody?
ha I have and the next day read what I wrote and think "wat the sam hell is going on here?" LOL
I don't do it anymore. I usually write after running a couple of miles or orangetheory so I've got the workout high going and then I eat and crash LOL
If I can hold off eating for a couple of hours, I can get the high to stick around for a couple of hours. It's great. Then I eat and feel blahhhhh.
Oddly enough, wine makes me hyper too for a little while.... I guess sugar, mang. But between workouts and wine I sleep so goooood.