3 Writing Tips to Help You Get Started!
Like every student who drifts into the writing center uncertain about the outcome, at times I too have wondered “what am I doing here?” But, I’m here to write. While providing you with writing help I’ll also practice my own writing process, because I really do believe that if we stick with it, eventually a tiny window will open and the light will shine in.
Let’s step into that light together!
Writing Tip #1:
To develop as a writer, you first need to develop as a planner. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting down to do a writing task and having no idea how to begin. So, here’s a tip–don’t start at the beginning!
Who says the essay, letter or story has to be written from the beginning? Ultimately, the finished product will be in the right order, but when you start, it doesn’t have to be! In fact, it probably won’t be because you won’t figure out what you mean until the end. So, just start!
Writing Tip #2
Don’t start by writing, start by thinking! What is the purpose of this document? What are you trying to accomplish and for whom? Who is the primary individual or group that you want to read this? What will they need or expect from you? What do you need to do in order to get or keep their interest or attention? All writing is for a purpose and all writing is for an audience. These two things will determine everything else!
Writing Tip #3
Draw a map! I know what you’re thinking. What does a map have to do with this writing assignment that I have to finish? Well, a map will help you figure out where you’re going. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so drawing a map ought to help you meet or surpass your word count! Mapping is a common technique for getting your ideas on the page, then helping you to follow the logical path to details and support.
VISION BOARD CHALLENGE
Below is an illustration of the mapping technique. Your challenge is to take out a paper and pen, or (even better) a dry erase board and marker and think of one word that captures your topic, purpose or the main point you want to make.
Draw a circle around that word then think of every word that you can come up with that relates to it. Draw circles around those words and draw lines between each to show relationships.
When you come to a word that captures an important concept, turn that word into a question. Put a circle around that question then draw lines out from that circle and write as many possible answers to that question as you can. Draw lines out from each question to any additional points that you can think of until you run out of ideas.
Voila! You’ve just created a writing plan–or writing vision board! You should now have some idea about the direction your writing should take, what you need to elaborate on, and what you can leave out.
I’d say we’re off to a good start!