Some writers and communicators know precisely what they're going to say as soon as they put "pen to paper" or fingers to keyboard. Others, at least to start with, may only have a vague idea of their message and are happy to "go where the story takes them", changing storyline or structure as they see fit as the drama develops.
Some excellent writers haven't got a clue about what they're going to write until they start writing. Some writers "know" the end of the story or article before they've even started to write a single word. Isn't the richness and variety of the human mind fascinating?
Perhaps the different ways of writing illustrates perfectly how multiple routes are available to help us deliver a finished product. Each communicator develops their own way of working with words, thoughts and ideas.
Nevertheless, the more you write, speak or present, the better you become — no surprises there then.
Essentially, the more practice you commit to the writing or speaking game, the more you'll realize that at a certain stage, your brain starts to automatically convert what might have originally been a hard task for you to complete, to one that becomes easy and mundane. Your mind is then free to explore newer heights of your creative power.
Key tip: I don't believe there is any right or wrong way to learn the crafts of writing, speaking or presenting. We can ask what others do. We can learn from them. However ultimately, over time, each successful communicator develops their own style and way of working — that, once discovered, appears to flow naturally.
Write Quickly or Write Slowly — Which is Best?
- Some writers prefer to write quickly during the early stages of their creative effort — even if their delivery is, in their words, "rubbish" — then edit their work slowly and methodically to correct errors, build up the plot and rewrite as necessary to create an excellent finish.
- Others prefer to take the opposite approach and work slowly, consistently and methodically from the outset and through to completion.
- I wonder if a great many writers struggle to get started and then work with the flow of whatever happens, speeding up or slowing down as the muse takes them.
- For my own experience, I've discovered that starting off can be slow, while the further I get into a writing project, the faster I seem to produce work of sufficient quality.
- Develop a style and writing rhythm that serves you best and helps you to meet your goal.
- Certainly don't lock yourself into rigid working practices simply because that is what you have read others do. Why: you are you; they have their own style. Relax into your own preferred method.
- Your writing style will most likely change and evolve over time, so always give yourself permission to be free and break your own "rules" should they no longer serve you best.
Whatever your preferred writing and editing style, below are some additional, general writing tips that you can use in combination with the tips above and that may help you develop into profitable communicator:
- Commit to write high quality material regularly.
- Make your writing activities fun. Whatever anyone else may say. If you enjoy the "journey", don't be put off.
- Even when not actively working on a project, every day, write at least several hundred words that challenge you to be your best. Why? Writing is much like a muscle: if you don't use it, you'll feel the difference.
- Do practice and experiment with different techniques and styles.
- Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Writing fear is a monster that has no real form, unless we choose to play that game.
- Do take the time to identify and analyze errors. Why? When we truly learn from each "mistake", we've performed a "growth step." If we complete enough growth steps, collectively at some time in the future, and usually without warning, we'll take a quantum leap (something big happens).