1. Speak your thoughts into a digital voice recorder and have the recording transcribed. You can then edit as you see fit. Another option is to use voice-recognition software and then polish up your spoken words into whatever format provides the best fit. This is an easy way to express your ideas without trying to “write” the perfect piece. For some people, writing is a chore. But talking is easy – as long as it’s not in front of an audience. In many cases, the most effective writing is a one-on-one personal communication and this can be easily created by learning to speak your written pieces and then editing them later.
3. Create secondary backup of as much of your material as possible. If you rely exclusively on your computer’s hard drive to keep all your work intact, you’re setting yourself up for a frustrating crash that could wipe out everything. Computers can and do fail. If that’s all you have, without backup, you could lose all of your work. Building a paper trail helps create some supporting material, should disaster strike.
4. Start writing at some point other than the beginning. Sometimes it’s best to get started wherever you can and then carry on from there. Trying to stick to the start-to-finish protocol you learned in school may be counter-productive. If the beginning is causing you any difficulty or hesitation, skip it and move on to something you can do right away. Take the easiest step and do it first. Then go on to the next easiest. What one section could you take on now with very little effort? That’s exactly where you should proceed. You can always pull the various elements together later and this technique saves you from losing precious time.
5. Prepare reference cards as shortcuts and to reduce duplication of your efforts. Prepare lists of eye-grabbing titles, interest-infusing openers and action-oriented words. Once you’ve filled out a few of these pages, laminate each and refer to them as needed. You can use these examples as is, or as idea stimulators. Whenever you’re stuck, simply refer to these quick idea generators.
For Part Two, click here.
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