Kaitlyn's Writing Tips: Talk It Out Before You Write It Out
I am an introvert and usually prefer to stay behind the scenes. Writing, though, is one of the few occasions I don’t mind sticking my head out of my shell. Even as someone who is good with written words, it’s enormously helpful for me to bounce ideas and thoughts onto those willing to listen. “Does this make sense?” “Does that sound right?” It’s an important part of my own writing process.
And it’s an important part of my process when I’m writing and creating content for clients.
One thing I have noticed when working with clients -- and in my own writing -- is that, when confronted with a blank resume or a blog that needs to be posted, they freeze up from the pressure of perfection. Think about it: how many times have you stared at that one sentence on your Word document, agonizing on how to make it better? (That’s why in college, I rarely started with the introduction…) For better or worse, words written on paper seem so final and so official; it’s like we want to get it right on the first go.
But that usually isn’t effective.
So, to shake people out of their perfection oriented-ness, I start all of my projects with an informal conversation where we chat about that person’s goals and what they want to accomplish, not just for the content itself, but in whatever venture or project they are tackling. Instead of the client focusing a narrow laser on what things sound like, free-flowing conversations allow them to be organic and their truest selves.
And on top of that, having a conversation allows me some insight into who that person is, which will prevent me from placing my own assumptions into the content. There is nothing worse in my opinion than writing a piece that does not sound or feel like you.
So, the next time you find yourself stuck on what to write, consider talking it out first. Don’t have a person in front of you? Do what I do and record yourself on your computer! It may take a few tries, but it’s one of the best ways I’ve found to unstick myself when I write.