Writing tips and techniques
As a freelance writer, let me give you some useful writing advice, drawing on my years’ of experience…
Computers have made it too tempting and too easy to jump on a keyboard and start typing. They even encourage us – after just a few minutes there are lots of words on the screen and we feel we are making progress.
But are you? And is that the best way to start your writing?
‘Fail to plan and plan to fail’ is a famous proverb used by Churchill and others – and can be applied to writing as well as to military strategy.
Before you start writing – however short your piece – think first what your audience needs to know. Then write down a list of things you want to say, working out an overall structure and connections between your points.
Only then should you start writing.
It’s just the same as our teachers’ advice for doing exams: plan what you are going to say before you start writing.
It only takes minutes – and you will save time in the long run.
By contrast, if you fail to put things in the right order first, you will have to spend a lot of time editing later.
And here comes the analogy with cooking….
If you don’t plan beforehand, you sometimes discover, just when people are getting hungry and time is running out, that you don’t have a key ingredient… or worse still, the next stage of the recipe is ‘Leave for 24 hours.’
Only by then it’s too late.