Today is Thursday, so this post is on communication skills.
Clean, clear writing is an important communication skill. However, writing is difficult for a lot of people. A clean sheet of paper or a blank computer screen can be very intimidating.
Nick Usborne is a professional writer. He has been a freelance copywriter for 30 years, yet he says that he “still has productivity problems from time to time.” To beat these productivity problems, he has created “five writing rituals to help you write faster and smarter.” These rituals are available for download.
I bought and downloaded them for two reasons. 1) I write a lot. I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing productivity. 2) A lot of people who read this blog want to improve their writing.
I liked what Mr. Usborne has to say. Below, I’ve summarized his five rituals for more productive writing.
5 Rituals to Help You Write Faster and Smarter
- Clear your mind. In other words, focus; really focus, on what you are writing. Get rid of all the distractions that will keep you from concentrating on what you are writing. I write these blogs posts first thing in the morning when I am fresh and focused, and free of the distractions that come up during the day.
- Visualize the outcome. Mr. Usborne suggests creating a mind map of what the finished document will look like. When I was writing Straight Talk for Success, I created a mind map that began with a five point star. Each point of the star corresponded to one of the major points I wanted to make about career and life success: self confidence, positive personal impact, outstanding performance, communication skills, and interpersonal competence. Then, I developed three supporting points for each of the five points on the start. For example, the supporting points for self confidence are: optimism, facing your fears, surrounding yourself with positive people. I had my mind map once I added the three supporting points to each of the five points on the star. This mind map gave me a visual representation of what my finished product would look like.
- Get fully loaded. By this, Mr. Usborne is suggesting that you “print out and review all of the information you need for the job.” When I am writing a blog post, I often have several windows open and running behind my Word screen. In this way, I can quickly reference what I need. Right now, for example, I have Mr. Usborne’s .pdf open to page 44, where he presents a summary of his five rituals.
- Start writing. Mr. Usborne says, “It doesn’t matter how you do it, just get those first few words written immediately.” I agree. Procrastination can kill your writing. That’s why I write and post my blogs first thing every morning. It’s a ritual. Get up, clean up, go to my office, post today’s blog, write tomorrow’s blog. Then I have a little breakfast.
- Stick to the plan. Mr. Usborne says, “Always work from your mind map and to-do list, right up until the last word. Above, I showed you how I did this when I was writing Straight Talk. I use this advice to help with this blog too. Monday, I post on self confidence; Tuesday, positive personal impact; Wednesday, outstanding performance; Thursday, communication skills and Friday, interpersonal competence. In other words, I plan my work and then work my plan.
I’m impressed with Mr. Usborne’s five writing rituals. While what he says is slanted towards professional writers, anybody who writes – and that’s everybody — can use his ideas to become a better writer.
You can get a copy of Writing Rituals by going here: http://bilanich.rituals.hop.clickbank.net.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense. I am not posting regularly on my www.CommonSenseGuy.com blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one. It is still up though. Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally. And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting www.CommonSenseGuy.com .
I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
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