In part 3 of our How To Be A Better Writer series, we look at how to write. From handwriting to voice recording, we explore our top three techniques for getting words onto the page.
If you’ve read part one and part two of this series, you will have already planned what you want to write and conducted the necessary research to back up your message. So now you’re ready for the good stuff; now you’re ready to start writing.
Just do it.
Don’t overthink it.
Simply get the words onto the page.
It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as it works for you. If you find the right technique, you quickly get into a flow state and the words just come.
“Pen and paper are my preferred tools,” says Method Marketing founder Lucy Mowatt. “The connection between my brain and my hand is stronger than between my brain and the keyboard.
“It feels more automatic; I allow the words to come without editing them along the way. I go off on tangents, cross things out, add comments in the margins; I just let it happen.
“Yes, it looks messy, but it gets my ideas out of my brain. Having created a solid plan and collated all of my research, I don’t tend to get writer’s block. By the time I start writing, I have hundreds of things that I want to say!”
Of course, there are benefits to typing directly onto your chosen platform. Whether it’s Facebook, an email or a Word document, it typing tend to be faster.
There is a vast array of tools out there designed to make that process even smoother. Whether it’s by reducing distractions or highlighting errors, it can be far more straightforward to dive straight into the action.
WordPress, for instance, allows you to work in Fullscreen Mode, so you don’t get distracted by formatting. The Calmly Writer app is similar; there are no distractions until you’re ready to start editing.
Scrivener is a popular app for keeping drafts, notes and research together all in one place. It’s been around for years and is a favourite of many writers. You can quickly switch between your notes and drafts in case you get stuck.
Some people find speaking easier than writing. That’s where voice notes come in.
Use your mobile or a dictaphone to record what you’d like to say in a voice recording. You can then transcribe it yourself or use an app to save time.
We’ve been testing Otter.ai and it’s pretty nifty. The app transcribes what you say in real-time, so you get both a recording and a text document when you finish.
It’s not foolproof – you will need to edit the document – but it may help you to shape your document if you’re not comfortable with writing.