Are you writing Effectively?
Earlier this week I went on an effective writing course (to help with writing for work) I would like to share with you some important things that I learnt.
I shall do this as a series of questions, interspersed with suggestions.
I hope it may help some of my audience.
I hope that many of you may already be using these in your writing.
Even if you are not a blogger you may find this helpful in conveying stories about your family.
What is your message?
When you write how often do you think about what message you are trying to put across to your audience?
Do you always know what the message is that you are trying to convey?
Who is your audience?
Your audience may not be the same as your readers.
Maybe an editor needs to read it, before it can be published, and you may have to adhere to certain guidelines.
A genealogy blog, whilst aimed at genealogists, may be read by others unless it is restricted.
The audience for a post in a facebook group may be the administrators of the group, they could decide what is suitable for publishing, especially if the group is restricted or closed.
Do you feel you do not have enough time to write?
Do you plan what you write before you start or do you start writing and then go back and change things?
This was an important learning point as the minutes spent in planning can greatly reduce the time spent writing.
How do you plan what to write?
Do you use a computer or pen and paper?
Do you use Mind Mapping tools?
Do you use a word processing program?
I think I may have mentioned previously that I like a website called coggle.it which is an online Mind Mapping tool.
These type of tools can be used whether you use a computer or just pen and paper.
Don't forget to plan your layout, if you have already got something along the lines of a Mind Map, the important headings should be clear.
A crucial part of the plan is knowing how many words you should be writing.
Short pieces with the right message upfront encourage the reader to continue.
If you want feedback say so and make it easy for the reader to respond.
Wherever possible avoid acronyms.
Check spelling and grammar.
If you have someone you can trust, get them to review it before it is published.
You may decide not to include everything that you initially started with as many of us tend to write too much.
I hope this helps you, whatever you need to write, be it a blogpost or a short piece about an ancestor to send to a cousin.
Please leave a comment below, especially if you have found this useful, I know that I for one shall be making much more use of Mind Mapping in future.