How to Write Well, even if You're "Not A Writer"
3 Tips from Writers to Help You Capture Your Message
Have a message to tell but stumble over the grammar?
Want to share your wisdom but not sure how to frame it?
You‘re not alone.
Fret not! No matter what your writing chops, there are ways around them.
Some of the most prolific bestsellers are terrible spellers and have no clue how to use the Oxford comma. (Not that you have to use the Oxford comma, but you don't even need to know about it!)
Maintain your momentum by using the same hacks that other writers used to conquer their obstacles.
Author Rules include: Write with abandon. Write what you love. Write when the mood strikes. And, write every day.
First, a writerly hack that every author uses is an editorial software. These are comprehensive, automated grammar editing tools that check for 250+ types of common and advanced English grammar rules. There are so many to choose from, and most offer a free trial or basic membership along with a premium offering.
Grammarly is what I use. It lives on my desktop and is useful in Word, in texts, and in social. It offers a mobile integration as well, so it's super handy if you're writing on your cellphone or mobile device. And, because I write in a variety of tones for a bunch of different audiences, it lets me adjust my settings to the formality or informality of the piece I’m working on. Big shout-outs from me.
Next, you must write on the go. I’m a big fan of always having a little notebook and a mechanical pencil purchased from a bargain shop. Still, if you’re driving, that’s kind of a no-no. So, you’ll want to reconsider and USE the TECHNOLOGY at your bluetoothed fingertips. YAS, people, I’m talking about your car.
I’ve written entire articles and chapters while walking the dogs and while driving. HOW?
Otter.ai is my go-to app for writing on the go. Better then “an audio text message“ for sure. It‘s a speech-to-text transcription, kind of my very own stenographer. Using my car‘s technology, I just click the little microphone and start dictating. It‘ll capture my pauses and deliver a text-only version or audio-only version or a live replay if I select it.
Recently, I spent 6 hours interviewing people on a huge Marine base (40 square miles) and needed to boil my experience down to one meaningful article. Otter.ai let me experience the interviews without pen/paper in hand, and skip the days of entering my notes into some format. Instead, I scrolled through the text-only and voila! Article was complete the next day. Otter.ai also just launched a version for teams.
Last, you have to just write. Write your crappy first draft. Don’t stop to change your tone, your tense, your format. JUST GET IT OUT. Your message won’t be born until you capture it. Then, you can find a resource or an editor to help you sculpt it for your audience.
You Can't Go Wrong by learning from the successes of other writers. Pick and Choose what works for you!
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