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Advice for Creative Writers Works for Business Writers Too
Business writing is hard stuff. Writing a long report, confronting a blank page, and finding the right details to make your point are just a few of the many difficulties associated with writing. The following article, “How Many Hours Do You Write? 7 Ways to Crush It Everyday” gives advice to creative writers, but all the points apply to business, technical and other “non-creative” types too. Here is the article (slightly edited for space):
Short writing sessions are the friend of the productive writer. As part of your journey towards becoming a writer, try writing every day for 15 or 30 minutes. This will help you become more productive and creative.
How Many Hours Do Writers Work a Day?
The prolific British author Anthony Trollope wrote for three hours before work each morning and produced dozens of novels during his lifetime. Stephen King writes for three hours or more each day. Some writers write intensively every day for several months before taking a break for a few weeks.
How Short Writing Sessions Can Help You Become a Writer
The prospects of sitting down for 15 or thirty 30 minutes is less daunting than facing a two- or three-hour writing session on the weekend. A short writing session is more achievable because almost every writer has 15-30 minutes in their day of which they can make better use.
If writing isn’t your full-time job, short writing sessions are perfect for busy days. You could write between meetings, on the bus or train, before you leave for work or late in the evening. All you have to do is rise half an hour earlier, skip a favorite television program, or avoid social media and the news. Short bursts of writing are like small wins. They accumulate over time until one day you look at your work and realize you’ve written ten thousand words.
Get More From Your Next Short Writing Session
Becoming a writer who gets more from short writing sessions is easy. Try:
- Making a list of 10, 20 or 30 topics you want to write about: don’t judge these ideas, your purpose is only to write as many down as you can within the time you have to write.
- Forgetting about perfect grammar, spelling or formatting: yes these are all important, but they are also time-consuming. You can fix all of these things when you’re editing later on.
- Using pen and paper: this method is timeless. It will help you focus more on what you want to write and less on the tools you use to write.
- Setting yourself a challenge: write as many words as possible within half an hour. Then during your next writing session, try and beat your previous word count.
- Focusing on a specific part of your current writing project: this intense focus is useful if you’re struggling with an introduction or a conclusion. Make it your job to finish this section before your half an hour is up.
- Writing with the intention that you will flesh out your ideas tomorrow: you don’t need to finish what you’re working on immediately. Perhaps today it’s enough to turn up and write for a short while before attending to the rest of your life.
The next time you feel stuck or intimidated by the thoughts of the blank page, go easier on yourself. Write for just half an hour and then go about your day. Then on the following day, push yourself a little harder.
- When scared, wild turkeys can run 20 m.p.h.
- The heaviest turkey on record weighed 86 pounds.
- Turkey wasn’t on the menu on the first Thanksgiving celebrated in 1621.
- Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3, 1863.
- The average number of calories consumed per person on Thanksgiving is 4,500.
- In 2018, how many pounds of turkey did Americans eat: 18 million, 35 million, 51 million, 62 million?
(Fun Facts Answer: Scroll to the bottom.)
Word of the Month
extemporize | ik-STEM-puh-ryze | verb
• improvise; to compose, perform, or produce something such as music or a speech without preparation
“At the start of the meeting, Keith extemporized on the futility of holding meetings that actually accomplished anything.”
Wacky & Wise Websites
Click here to find out why pies made from “canned pumpkin puree” aren’t pumpkin pies at all, and 9 other interesting facts about the foods you eat on Thanksgiving.
Click here to read about the world’s deepest shipwreck.
American Express, Amgen, Cisco Systems, Department of the Navy, Fluor Corporation, General Electric, Motorola, The New York Public Library, Procter & Gamble, SEAL Team Six, State of Utah, Supreme Court of Virginia, United Way, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Writing Tips & More
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SATisfy Your Curiosity
SAT Exam practice question: Select the pair that best expresses a relationship similar to that expressed in the original pair.
IDOLATRY : ADMIRATION
- absurdity : enjoyment
- thanklessness : patronage
- exasperation: annoyance
- intimacy : solitude
- eccentricity : conformity
(SAT Answer: Scroll to the bottom.)
Nike’s famous Just Do It advertising campaign was launched in 1988 and went on to become one of the most famous slogans of all time. The campaign was the brainchild of the Wieden+Kennedy ad agency, and co-founder Dan Wieden says he got the idea from the last words of Gary Gilmore. Convicted in Utah of multiple murders in 1976, Gilmore was executed by firing squad in January 1977. The case was notable because Gilmore had refused to appeal the case and had protested stays of execution made on his behalf. Gilmore’s express wish to die made the case something of a media sensation, which continued after he was executed. Shortly after the execution, Playboy published an interview it had conducted with Gilmore. And Norman Mailer wrote a Pulitzer-prize winning book, The Executioner’s Song, about Gilmore. And as late as 1991, an episode of the sitcom Seinfeld quoted Gilmore’s “immortal” last words, which were: “Let’s do it.” When tasked with the Nike account, Wieden recalled the phrase and tinkered with it, producing Just Do It. Evidently at the time, Nike was unaware that Gilmore had been Wieden’s inspiration.
Answer: exasperation : annoyance. The relationship between idolatry and admiration might be best stated as “idolatry is an intense form of admiration.” The only other similar relationship among the choices is exasperation : annoyance because exasperation is an intense form of annoyance.
Fun Facts Answer
51 million pounds of turkey