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Because Writing is Hard: 12 Tips for Better Copy, Faster

Increase writing productivity and produce better prose with some insightful advice from the experts.

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Because Writing is Hard: 12 Tips for Better Copy, Faster

  1. 1. blo!", book#, $e%ort", &"'a(s... Because Writing is Hard. 12 of the most frequently cited tips for writing better copy, faster Compiled by Sidneyeve Matrix
  2. 2. “ 1. Research. Then write. Before you sit down to write, be sure your research is done and you’re well versed in it. Resist the urge to continuously verify facts. Write without stopping. “ ~ Samar Owais Source: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/tips-tricks-writing-fast-and-professionally
  3. 3. 2. Read everything. “ Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window. ~ William Faulkner Source: Goodreads.com
  4. 4. 3. Create an outline. Think of writing your outline as the brainstorming portion of your writing workflow. ~ Syed Balkhi The outline helps you avoid the trap of linear writing. You don’t have to start at the beginning and write line-by-line to the end. With a structure, you can write in pieces, in any order you like. ~ Dean Rieck Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/syed-balkhi/the-secret-of-writing-fas_b_4323234.html + http://www.copyblogger.com/speed-writing/
  5. 5. 4. Set weekly deadlines. “ Find ways to break your writing project into chunks and set concrete weekly deadlines. It might be super rough, but at least you’ll have *something* on the page. “ ~ Josh Shenk Source: http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/2011/06/02/practical-tips-on-writing-a-book-from-22-brilliant-authors/
  6. 6. 5. Social media time-out. “ How NOT to write a book? Tweet. Update Facebook. Google writing software. How to write a book? Write until you’re done. ~ Chris Brogan “ Source: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/how-not-to-write-a-book/
  7. 7. “ 6. Remember the reader. Relentlessly, unremittingly, obstinately focus on the reader. Anticipate the questions readers will have as they read. Then answer them. ~ Ann Handley “ Source: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131210123538-6474349-big-ideas-for-2014-the-year-of-good-writing-and-the-one-key-to-creating-it
  8. 8. 7. Start with facts, feelings, ideas. “ Humans deal in facts, feelings and ideas. Words are simply the vehicle we use to deliver the cargo. Stop trying to write words. Start writing facts, feelings, and ideas. ~ Mike Anderson “ Source: http://blog.thecenterforsalesstrategy.com/one-magical-trick-to-upgrade-your-writing-skills
  9. 9. 8. Grow your vocabulary. Acquiring a large vocabulary will enable you to understand others' ideas better and to get your thoughts and ideas across more effectively. ~ Johnson O'Connor As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors. ~Rhys Alexander Sources: http://fireyourmentor.com/20-tips-to-become-a-better-writer/ + http://www.jocrf.org/resources/EffectiveWays.html “
  10. 10. 9. Write concisely. “ Substitute a simple word to make your writing clearer, cleaner, more concise. It gives the reader a feeling of confidence in your ability to communicate ideas. “ ~ Christina Thompson Source: http://www.extension.harvard.edu/hub/blog/extension-blog/how-improve-your-writing-omit-needless-words
  11. 11. 10. A first draft, fast. “ Rapidly write your first draft. Get your thoughts down on paper before you can overthink them. Resist the urge to perfect as you write. Save the editing until the draft is finished. “ ~ Harvard Business Review Guide to Better Business Writing Source: http://business.time.com/2013/02/25/write-your-first-draft-fast/
  12. 12. 11. Done is better than perfect. “ I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles. Source: Goodreads.com “ ~Shannon Hale
  13. 13. 12. And when it’s done, celebrate. Becau") writing i" ha$d! Source: http://www.copyblogger.com/the-first-draft/
  14. 14. Compiled by Sidneyeve Matrix Associate Professor of Media Queen’s University, Canada Twitter.com/Sidneyeve © All Rights Reserved 2014