Crossman’s Crash Course in Writing with Impact: Overview
We tend to think of writing as a mechanical skill that takes good grammar and a decent vocabulary and somehow blends it all together to create clear communication. That’s not a bad start but decades of experience have taught me that writing with impact is much more complex. One of the most important components? Good organization.
Before you can even hope to inform or influence a reader you absolutely must have an intelligent plan that focuses your thinking and guides your writing. I use a simple five-step kick-start for almost every document I write. Here it is:
- Set your goals. You need to start with a clear idea of what you want this piece to do for you. Do you want it to confirm your standing as an expert, influence readers to take action, inform people about something important or simply give you a chance to vent?
- Know your audience. Your audience information will dictate the complexity of language needed, the type and amount of detail required and the overall voice necessary to reach your audience. Miss this piece and you blow your chance to connect.
- Collect your facts. Writer’s Block is often caused by a lack of pertinent information so whenever I hit that intellectual brick wall I generally head out and do more research. Filtering out irrelevant material is much easier than trying to invent details you should already have and it gives you the luxury of being selective about the information you include.
- Organize your information well. Once you have corralled all the facts, what do you do with them? I organize them into four main categories that deal with:
- Why my topic is important
- What it involves
- How it works
- What the future implications areI tack on a package of introductory information and a collection of conclusions and I’m good to go.
- Check for what’s missing. It’s easy to get lost in detail but you also need to step back from all that glorious information and ask yourself what you’ve left out. You might have overlooked something stunningly basic and it’s a lot easier to find that out before you start writing than to be called on the carpet for the omission at a later date.
Once you’ve done all this preliminary work you end up with a document that practically writes itself. Want to learn more about how I can help you along your writing continuum? Contact me today!