December 22, 2018

Just write it!

Reading time: 2 minutes

A statement of intention to become a better writer.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple emoji of a hand holding a pen as if to write, in front of a bright green starburst shape

wordsmith, noun.
“One with the ability to effortlessly string together words, no matter their actual meaning, in an instance and in such a way it brings a smile to the faces of those listening, sometimes often laughter or tears of admiration for having heard someone with such an amazing skill.” — Urban Dictionary

Writing is hard. We started this blog for a few reasons, and becoming better writers was one of them.

It’s weird, I have zero problem talking — for hours! — and yet when I flex my typing fingers, open up a blank page and see that blinking cursor, I’ve got nothing. Tumbleweeds. Time to make a cup of tea and wait for inspiration to hit.

When I do start typing, my default tone is unnecessarily formal. I’m all, “…discussion of the thing will make for a better understanding of its purpose and therefore a better thing itself. Kind regards.” (Don’t even get me started on “Kind regards”, that’s a whole other post.)

So here are some tips I’ve come up with for myself, that you might find helpful too:

Hot tip #1: Lose the distractions ✨

I know there are apps whose purpose is to minimise distraction so I Googled “just write app hide distraction” and found the one I’m using now: Calmly Writer. I’ve also heard good things about Paper App (free; for iPhone/iPad), but TBH Google Docs, Word, or Pages would work just as well in Full Screen mode… and now I’ve remembered, that’s probably what I’ll do next time.

Hot tip #2: Cut the fat ✂

Once you’ve written something, run it through a free online tool like The Writer’s Diet or Hemingway App for a quick check against useless words and lack of clarity.

Hot tip #3: Say it, don’t type it 💬

I had planned to dictate this post into my phone, then transcribe it afterwards but with a house full of people I decided to at least try to read it aloud in my head as I wrote. It helps!

Hot tip #4: Phone a friend ☎

Google Docs is my go-to for gathering feedback by sharing the link and asking for edits in Suggestion Mode, as well as any comments. If you’re not a Google native, or want clearer comparisons between versions, try Draftin.

Hot tip #5: Just write ✏

Writing something is better than nothing. Start with imperfect then refine, rewrite, edit, and revise.

Voila! That’s how I put this post together, and in the process I guess it has inadvertently become the baseline: the very beginning of my journey to wordsmithery.

Kind regards,
Jess

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Jess Allison

Optimist. Traveller. Dreamer. Doer. Delivery Manager (ex Digital Producer). See what else I've written here.

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