How to Write Anything Quickly And Painlessly
Last month I presented a workshop at A Day for Women, an annual event put on by the local chapter of Soroptomist International. The topic of the one-hour presentation was, “How to Write Anything Quickly and Painlessly.” Last Wednesday, I made a similar presentation to Sierra Writers in Nevada City. During the workshop, participants learned tips, strategies, and suggestions to make writing easier and more fun. The information has been well received, so I thought I’d pass it on for those of you who….
…have a big project coming up at work with a looming deadline and you are stuck. Maybe you have a book inside of you, but can’t seem to get started, or you want to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, but are worried that it won’t come out “right.” Whether you write marketing collateral, sales letters, or white papers for business, want to write articles and blog entries faster, or you’re part of the 81% of the population who wants to write a book or eBook, this process will help you stop procrastinating and start writing.
Of course, during the workshop participants were able to practice the various tools and methods to see which worked best for them, but there’s enough here to get you started. In future posts I’ll get into more detail about the 10 Tools. If you give the process a try, don’t be surprised if you start developing content faster than you do now. With summer just around the corner, that means more time to spend at the beach!
How to Write Anything Quickly and Painlessly
- Be clear about your objective. Ask yourself the following questions: Who am I writing for? What is the purpose of this article, blog post, letter, report, or book? When do I have to have it done? When do I want to have it done? Where is it going to be distributed? Why is it important? How long do I want to take to complete it?
- Overcome resistance – 10 Tools
Believe you can do it: download Eliminate the Judge (you can get this mp3 for FREE at http://www.janfishler.com), Laugh and lighten up, Physical exercise, Whole body relaxation (I’m going to have to make a video to demonstrate this one), Music and ambient sound, Affirmations: I enjoy writing. I write quickly. I am prolific, etc. Visualization & Guided Imagery – Feeling Good About Writing (to be recorded soon) Consciously connected breathing/meditation, Automatic writing, 5-minute writing blasts.
- Get into the writing habit: Buy Flex Your Writing Muscle – 365 Days of Writing Prompts and start your day with a prompt. Write for 5 minutes and see where it takes you.
- Conduct research/be an investigative reporter (who, what, when, where, why, how).
- Set a timer for 15 minutes, FOCUS, and crank out a first draft.
- Ask yourself questions about your draft. Is it okay? Did I leave anything out? Where can I get additional information? Is the information understandable to the target audience? Is it in the right order? Is it readable? Is it interesting? Does it need graphics? How could it be better? Should I get input from others?
- Polish Your Draft. Do I have the inner resources and time to make it better? Who can I trust for feedback? Should I hire an editor? Can the information be repurposed?
Jan Fishler is the producer of the Path to PublicationDVD series filmed at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers featuring Amy Tan, Janet Fitch, Mark Childress and other well-known authors, agents, and publishers. She is the author of Searching for Jane, Finding Myself (An Adoption Memoir) and Flex Your Writing Muscle – 365 Days of Writing Prompts. She writes articles for VietNow National Magazine and has a bi-monthly column, “Healthy Options” in The Union newspaper.