Because Writing is Hard: 12 Tips for Better Copy, Faster
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Because Writing is Hard.
12 of the most frequently cited tips for
writing better copy, faster
Compiled by Sidneyeve Matrix
1. Research. Then write.
Before you sit down to write, be sure your research is
done and you’re well versed in it. Resist the urge to
continuously verify facts. Write without stopping.
~ Samar Owais
2. Read everything.
Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and
see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as
an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll
absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's
not, throw it out of the window. ~ William Faulkner
3. Create an outline.
Think of writing your outline as the brainstorming
portion of your writing workflow. ~ Syed Balkhi
The outline helps you avoid the trap of linear
writing. You don’t have to start at the beginning and
write line-by-line to the end. With a structure, you
can write in pieces, in any order you like. ~ Dean Rieck
Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/syed-balkhi/the-secret-of-writing-fas_b_4323234.html + http://www.copyblogger.com/speed-writing/
4. Set weekly deadlines.
Find ways to break your writing
project into chunks and set concrete
weekly deadlines. It might be super
rough, but at least you’ll have
*something* on the page.
~ Josh Shenk
5. Social media time-out.
How NOT to write a book? Tweet.
Update Facebook. Google writing
software. How to write a book?
Write until you’re done.
~ Chris Brogan
6. Remember the reader.
Relentlessly, unremittingly, obstinately focus on the
reader. Anticipate the questions readers will have
as they read. Then answer them. ~ Ann Handley
7. Start with facts, feelings, ideas.
Humans deal in facts, feelings and
ideas. Words are simply the vehicle we
use to deliver the cargo. Stop trying to
write words. Start writing facts,
feelings, and ideas. ~ Mike Anderson
8. Grow your vocabulary.
Acquiring a large vocabulary will enable
you to understand others' ideas better
and to get your thoughts and ideas
across more effectively.
~ Johnson O'Connor
As a writer, words are your paint.
Use all the colors.
Sources: http://fireyourmentor.com/20-tips-to-become-a-better-writer/ + http://www.jocrf.org/resources/EffectiveWays.html
9. Write concisely.
Substitute a simple word to make
your writing clearer, cleaner, more
concise. It gives the reader a feeling
of confidence in your ability to
~ Christina Thompson
10. A first draft, fast.
Rapidly write your first draft. Get your thoughts
down on paper before you can overthink them.
Resist the urge to perfect as you write. Save
the editing until the draft is finished.
~ Harvard Business Review Guide to Better Business Writing
11. Done is better than perfect.
I'm writing a first draft and
reminding myself that I'm simply
shoveling sand into a box so that
later I can build castles.
12. And when it’s done, celebrate.
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