Updated: Jan 31, 2019
Imagine writing your thesis, book, or letter with ease each and every time. Here are 7 considerations that are sure to give you instant confidence when writing.
1. So What’s the Main Idea!
What's the purpose of your communication? Ultimately, what do you want to communicate? We start off our count with purpose and aim.
While the actual words of your main idea/purpose may not make it into your content, it is a reminder of the direction you want your writing to go.
For the professional, writing down your main idea or the purpose of writing might look like this:
I don’t agree with all their recommendations; I want to present alternatives
I want to resign
Remember, this is only a starting point. Try your best to keep it as short as possible (a single sentence will do; nothing exceeding a paragraph).
We move on now to “Method” which speaks to the different ways writers go about transferring their thoughts onto paper. Which one are you?
Like to approach your writing with an order in mind? You may be a Carpenter/Plotter. Jack Hart, in his book “A Writer’s Coach”, refers to this type of writer as one who builds a frame first then comes back to perfect the frame later.
With this method, the writer builds an outline (frame) by asking elementary questions like:
Which topics do I want to communicate/touch on; and in which order?
The look of this outline can be as succinct as a list of bullet points or more detailed like the outline of a chapter for a book. This method can be used when writing up a blog post, a legal brief, even academic papers. While some may consider this approach too structured, it is pretty versatile in application and can be used to produce content relatively fast.
The Free Spirit
On the opposite side of the writing-method spectrum we have the Free Spirit writers who practice freewriting. These types of writers thrive when they feel unrestricted; when they don’t have to follow a specific path. They like to just start and see where their content ends up.
Sometimes referred to as the Pantser, the Free spirit writer considers outlining, sequencing or anything to do with the framing of their thoughts, to be their kryptonite. They need the mental freedom to be creative and explorative in their writing process.
While some writers use this creative method to combat writer’s block, some end up writing themselves into a corner with no plan. So go for it-sure- but be mindful.
The final writing method we’ll be touching on is that of the Perfecter- a writer who edits as they write instead of waiting until the end to revise. The Perfecter leans toward making each part of the content perfect before they decide to move on.
For inexperienced writers, this method can be one of the more time-consuming methods as they may find themselves spending loads of time on early areas of their writing without making progress towards completion in a timely way.
Whichever method works well for you, be aware of their downsides and write accordingly.
Next on our list of considerations is Audience.
Good writers, when going through the writing process, are mindful of their readership or their intended audience. The importance of this consideration cannot be understated.
- The way a political campaign speech is written is not the way someone would write an email to their peer.
- The way you write for young adults would not be the way you write for your professor.
Audience expectation is also important. Ask yourself:
What is the baseline expectation of my audience? Is it a respectful tone, well-researched writing, lots of humor, or a 4-minute read vs a 45-minute read?
“It is not enough to know what to say-one must also know how to say it.”
And this is where the tone of your writing comes in. While some may argue that your audience informs the tone of your writing, the purpose of the communication also informs the tone with which you will write.
For instance, affecting Tone is Audience and Purpose.
Purpose- Letter of Congratulations
Purpose- Written Confession of love
Purpose- Cease and Desist notice
Above we see although audience/reader remains unchanged, Purpose is the factor that influences different tones. In some cases, a letter may need to be written with impersonal language, other times it may call for personal informal expressions; another time an authoritative tone may need to be adopted to communicate sternness. Remember, not every writer sets out to please their audience.
Various devices can be used to mold tone. They include formal/informal language (whichever is appropriate), personal/impersonal expressions, punctuation and word choice.
5. Awkward Sentences
Ahh! We have allll been there! The frustrating idea that looks elementary on paper when we write it down. Or maybe a sentence has you twitching because you wonder if your reader will understand what you’ve just written. Maybe it’s a bit confusing to you as well.
Don't worry. Here are tips to get out of an awkward writing situation:
1. Complete your sentence. Ensure what you have down on paper is a complete sentence and not a sentence fragment or a dependent clause;
2. Consider using Transitional words to help with the flow of thought/ideas/logic;
3. Ensure your sentence construction is parallel;
4. You can consult with a thesaurus to find a more appropriate alternative;
5. Use active, not a passive construction;
6. Or consult with an ANEX Editor to help you sort it out.
If any tips listed above sound new to you, no worries. Look out for new posts on each point.
6. So Many Words!
Almost to the end and I must mention this one. So Many Words syndrome…I am one of those that have this problem.
Always over-writing because I have so much information I want mentioned in my work. It leaves me with the task of deciding which parts/ideas are most important to the purpose of the writing and how much read-time I should give to a topic in a given paragraph for example.
What is needed at this point is an objective review of the work. Take a step back and edit with precision… looking for repetitions, redundancies, superfluous sections that are shallow, fluffy or irrelevant.
Reviewing, revising, and editing are important parts of writing that refine your work to produce the best end product. Don’t skip it; don’t skimp on it. Edit.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help/ a Second Opinion
Second guessing your tone or aspects of your content? Don’t be afraid to ask a trusted peer, friend or family to take a look and tell you what they think. Receiving feedback on your writing can be difficult for some writers at times, but it can enhance the clarity of your piece, build your confidence, or even result in the generation of an idea you would've never had before.
Everyone's strength may not be language, so don't be afraid to reach out to the Editors at ANEX today for valuable feedback on your written work. Consult with ANEX today.
Although we have listed 7 Considerations above, writing can be non-linear and as fluid as thought. There may be other factors that can be considered when writing, like Urgency, Importance, Delivery (email vs book vs speech), etc.
These Considerations are not limited to students, book writers or professionals; any writer can consider these 7 factors when writing. Maybe you’re a parent who wants to write a letter to your child’s school principal. These considerations can work for you as well.
Do you struggle with any of these considerations in your writing process? Share a comment below. Let us help you put your best work forward.