In yesterday’s Daily Blatt, I described five different ways to get your business writing on its way to a first draft. All of the methods can be used to get started on many kinds of workplace documents, from one-page reports to longer technical documents.
In fact, I used the clustering method to organize my research to complete the final project for my master’s program.
But not every strategy will work for every kind of writing. That’s why it’s important to have a writer’s toolbox filled with different ways to approach different writing situations and to solve different writing problems.
Here are four more strategies to jump start your writing efforts:
- Detailed development is a way to approach a rough draft you know will be revised multiple times. During each revision the focus is on improving one section at a time. This strategy works for a document when all of the information isn’t available at the same time or when working as a member of a writing team.
- Spiral development is a strategy that can work two ways: write the easiest section first and work toward the most difficult section or start writing the most difficult section and work toward the easiest. I’ve used this strategy many times when the writing just won’t flow. Starting with the easiest section typically works to get the words rolling again.
- Storyboard development is just a fancy way of saying start with your graphics first. Decide which images, charts, graphs, tables, etc., explain the topic best and organize those first. Write the document based on the order and importance of the visuals.
- Q&A development is just like it sounds. Pretend you’re the reader and write the questions about the topic you want the writer to answer. Then write the document so it answers all the questions.
Those are the tools in my getting started toolbox. Do you have other strategies for getting your business writing started? If so, please add them to the list.