Thursday, February 24, 2011

Writing Advice

In my public relations classes I've learned that writing is the most important thing. Without well-written work, you can't sufficiently communicate ideas to your audience.

However, it's hard to get started, right? We sort of hit that initial wall because we haven't sorted out our brain yet. My media writing teacher recently introduced my class to a little exercise popularized by author, Natalie Goldberg. Before drafting your piece and tackling it blindly, do a free-write (similar to an exercise I posted in a previous post).

Instead of staring at your keyboard and the type cursor taunting you over and over again, take out a regular old piece of paper and the writing utensil of your choice. Do a free-write for as long as you can: usually 5, 10 or 15 minutes. Don't worry about spelling or grammar. In this case, though, write down all that you wish to accomplish in your paper. What ideas are you trying to communicate? Obstacles? Whatever comes to mind. Don't be afraid to stray off topic. It's a way to be aware and collect your thoughts.
Your raw "stream of consciousness" flowing from the tip of your pen, if you will.

Another piece of advice is to write daily. We've heard it a million times before: Practice makes perfect.
Last semester, I didn't have many assignments that required writing. This semester- I feel like it's all I do! But as the weeks go by, I've noticed that it's not so 'painful' anymore.

A fun and useful site I StumbledUpon last night is

simple. you’ll see one word at the top of the following screen.
you have sixty seconds to write about it.
click ‘go’ and the page will load with the cursor in place.
don’t think. just write.
It's kind of startling because the timer starts as soon as the page loads, so be ready!

Here's what I composed for "bench":

I suggest trying it out and see what you can come up with. It's fascinating to read what others have come up with too!

Happy Writing!

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