As part of your work, sometimes you can write something more complicated than simple mail.
Writing can sometimes be incredibly difficult, especially if you feel it’s something you’re not very good at. I bet most of you probably have no idea where to start.
The following tips could make the process easier.
Step 1: Understanding the Intent
What is the purpose of your writing?
Let’s say you’re working on a leaflet for the company. So you are trying:
- Be aware of a problem?
- Do you want to encourage citizens to attend a meeting?
- To convince people to sign a petition?
- … or something completely different?
If it is not clear to you what your writing is, then find someone who will help you clarify it. Don’t accept answers like “hmm, we need a flyer” or “our company needs a blog”. Get a clear sense of what your goal is.
Even with a simple task, it’s worthwhile writing a few words on paper and summarizing your intention:
- I’m writing this mail to ask for references.
- I am writing this leaflet because I want to inform the public about a better product on the market.
Step 2: Get to know your audience
Who will read what you write?
The way you write must be tailored to the reader. For example, if you are writing some software instructions for use inside your computer firm, you probably won’t have to break down all the technical terms, your colleagues will understand them. However, if you write a guide for your client, it is a good idea to avoid technical jargon.
Your audience could be:
- college or barely literate
- very young or very old
- perceive or oppose your message
- field experts or complete beginners
Your audience’s needs will affect all aspects of your writing: length, style, content, and even presentation.
Once you are aware of your audience and intent, you can move to the writing itself.
Step 3: Make your outline
Talk to a professional writer or writer and they will almost certainly tell you that the curriculum is a complete foundation before you start – especially for larger projects.
The outline will help you to better organize your thoughts before you begin and are a great way to become more productive. It makes the whole writing process much easier and gives you a certain framework in which to move.
If you are having problems creating a curriculum, please ask the following questions:
(Of course, you don’t necessarily need all of them in your curriculum.)
The curriculum is useful even for shorter texts. Let’s say you are going to write a short text in a leaflet to alert residents to use recycling resources. Your outline might look like this:
Explain where residents can recycle.
Remind them why recycling matters, give them some specific statistics.
Tell them who they can contact for more details.
Step 4: Start typing
For most people it is a very tough nut! You probably feel that your mind is empty and you can only kill a few sentences in hours.
However, it may not be difficult. Remember, writing is just a form of communication – like talking. And remember that you can always go back and change what you have written.
Imagine talking to someone in your chosen audience – probably one of your customers. How would you comment? What words would you use?
If you’re still having trouble running, try setting a time limit. Find out how much you can write in half an hour. Often times the most difficult part is (and, yes, professionals have a problem with that too).
Step 5: Edit your first concept
Nobody writes anything for the first time perfectly. Your concept will need some adjustments.
When you browse your text, don’t just look for grammatical errors, but look at the text as a whole.
- Is there something missing?
- Is there anything redundant there?
- Are all my sentences comprehensible?
- Have I used any words that aren’t suitable for my audience?
It is also good to ask someone to read the article after you. Maybe he’ll be able to spot places that will be confusing for him or the mistakes you’ve overlooked.
And that is all!
Now you should be able to write long enough text that will be worth it.