Become an Efficient Writer

Become An Efficient Writer!

First, you need to do is focus in on your total document. 

Any time you add or change words, reread your document to ensure that everything else still fits and is correct.  Often, a change in one place will necessitate a change in another.  You need to focus on each line as you create it.  As soon as you have your first draft in place, back up a few lines and read through the earlier text again. You will sometimes find that the latest addition doesn’t fit—perhaps it doesn’t make a smooth enough transition from what came before.

See “Programs & Reviews” on the left hand side of the home page for writing programs.

Note, as you develop each sentence, keep going back and rereading it from the start to ensure that all its elements mesh together. As you write each new paragraph, keep rereading it from its first line to see how its sentences fit together: perhaps the topic shifts enough that the paragraph should be broken up, or perhaps a particular word now is repeated too many times within a short space.

Second, put your work aside for a while and then come back to it-

     You may be confident that you have changed your words into their final form, only to find that when you look at them a little later, problems jump out: illogical connections, clumsy sentence structures, a strained-sounding tone, subtle errors in your grammar.   remember a lapse of time enables you to come back to your work with a more objective mind.  A day or more away is ideal, but even a few hours can make a difference.  This gives you a fresh view and perspective on your work.

Third, have someone else review your work-

     No matter how skilled, as a writer, you can benefit from getting another opinion, because by definition one is always too close to one’s own work. Given that any writing is ultimately intended for other people’s consumption, it only makes sense to find out how other people perceive it. The individual whose opinion you seek need not be a better writer than you, since the goal is not necessarily to have this person correct or revise what you have done. Rather, it is to provide you with feedback on how your points and your tone are coming across. If your critic doesn’t get your jokes, or finds a character you meant to be funny and sympathetic merely irritating, or can’t follow some instruction because you left out a step you thought would be perfectly obvious to anybody—at least consider the possibility of making changes (and do your best to remain on speaking terms afterward).  Select someone whose opinion you respect and who represents your intended readership as nearly as possible.

Fourth, read your text aloud-

     This strategy is likeliest to be helpful if your writing is intended for oral presentation, but can be useful for other genres as well. Hearing your own words, as opposed to looking at them, may change your impression of them and expose weaknesses such as pretentious sounding terms, wooden dialogue, or rambling sentences.

Using these techniques can improve the content of your body of work and make you a more effective writer.  Find your writing style, develop your skills and maximize your ability and your talent.  Become an efficient writer!