5 Good Writing Practices
The majority of us write daily. Answering e-mails, composing apps, and creating reports are only a few examples of utilizing writing skills.
Yet, we hardly take the time to develop our writing skills.
This habit is detrimental to us. Effective writing abilities have a positive effect on both professional and personal lives. Consider that the abilities you would use to produce a well-reasoned argument in a research paper, manuscript, or work proposal are the same skills you would need to negotiate personal limits or express yourself in a private dispute. Strong writing abilities boost your self-esteem when it comes to expressing yourself clearly. This lessens the tension that most authors experience during the writing process.
Time and self-discipline are required to develop one’s writing abilities. Over the years of writing and honing my skills, I’ve identified five good writing practices that I’ve found effective. I am convinced that incorporating these practices into your writing process will assist you in lessening the anxiety throughout the writing process and clarify and condense your writing.
Five (5) Good Writing Practices
These five writing practices ensure that you feel less stressed, clearer, and more concise in your writing.
1. Accept that your initial draft will be terrible.
Numerous authors battle perfectionism. It is a significant cause of stress in the writing and editing fields. Constantly criticizing your work’s quality and attempting to make every sentence flawless (especially during the first draft) is a formula for catastrophic failure. It is a time-consuming process that will cause you to miss your deadlines.
Accept the fact that early drafts include errors. In addition, it is essential for the progress of your writing to allow yourself permission to compose a poor first draft. Great writing is not a mystical process that occurs in a single coffee-fueled burst. Instead, it is a multi-step process requiring extensive rewriting.
Your initial draft is not final. It’s merely the first step. This is where you will be able to determine what works, what doesn’t, and what is clear or unclear in the context of your complete work. The realization that your first draft was terrible is a positive indicator. It demonstrates that you are developing your present writing endeavor and your long-term writing talents.
2. Employ a plan.
Writing is more akin to being a wilderness guide than a secluded creative genius in many respects. An author has to guide the reader through the content. Moreover, they must plan a path that is either well-reasoned and ordered or filled with skillfully crafted twists, turns, and enticing riddles, depending on your readership.
If you do not know your goal, you cannot successfully lead others there (let alone do it with style). Outlines require you to keep your goal in mind at all times, which has two effects.
First, it eliminates the anxiety of writing into a formless emptiness. Further, this practice promotes succinctness. If you know where you want your reader to go, you are more likely to construct compelling, straight pathways to that destination (rather than sending your reader down a series of unrewarding side trails).
This does not mean you should never depart from your blueprint, though. This is how some of the finest writing is produced. However, writing with an outline in mind enhances the likelihood of a stress-free writing process and encourages more straightforward and concise writing.
3. Invest in a reputable editor.
Everyone who writes understands the benefits of a skilled editor. Whether it’s a friend, a professional, or even your mother, an outsider’s viewpoint on your work is priceless. However, hiring a professional is an effective way to get an impartial perspective or maintain harmony if your loved ones are exhausted from reading your manuscripts.
In addition to its many other advantages, editing is an excellent way to evaluate your work. It is an opportunity to determine what connects with your audience and what may be a bit confusing. This is especially true if your reader may not have as much understanding as you have about non-fiction or if you are introducing them to an unfamiliar fictional universe.
Investing in a competent editor reduces your overall stress level. Writing is a solitary activity, so including another person in your process might be a comfort. For instance, with an editor, you are not the only one concerned about wrong commas or typos. Now that you have the assistance of a reliable individual, you can correct faults, rectify unclear material, improve your tone, and prepare your work for its debut.
4. Make breaks a vital component of your writing process.
Writing is a highly creative endeavor. You cannot do anything on autopilot, nor can you do it effectively when you lack creative energy. Few people in the world can write continuously for eight hours each day.
It is essential to balance your time spent writing with mundane, non-creative duties. This provides you with the necessary time and space to regain your focus and return with a clear mind. These pauses help you avoid the stress of creative burnout and maintain your work’s quality. If you’re not weary, you’ll be far more inclined to write intelligent, succinct phrases instead of frantically stringing together words to fulfill your word count.
Consider utilizing the Pomodoro Technique if you find it challenging to include longer breaks in your schedule or if you are under a strict deadline. This well-known method entails concentrating for 25 minutes before taking a five-minute break.
5. Learn how to say farewell.
After spending so much time reworking a writing piece, it can be difficult to let go. For instance, you may know a person whose manifesto has been in the works for over a decade or a buddy who is continually revising their script. Or perhaps you are among the quiet majority of us who constantly edit our manuscripts.
Revision is required during the writing process. It improves your writing abilities and helps you generate clear, succinct writing. However, as with many wonderful things, the excess may be problematic. You could theoretically continue modifying your work forever. Nevertheless, if you do so, you stifle the influence your comments may have had on the world.
Learn to have faith that your job is sufficient. Do not use the necessity of editing as an excuse to never share your work.
Enjoy stress-free, more succinct, and clearer writing.
Utilize these five good writing practices to decrease stress while increasing your work’s clarity and conciseness. Any change requires time and patience to establish, but these practices are well worth the effort. Not only should they make you happier with your writing, but also with your time spent on it.