Speaking to yourself and putting it down on paper isn’t enough if you want to be able to compose fast and efficient letters, reports or do some creative writing. You still may find yourself in a limbo of dead ends when your thoughts seem to be constantly shifting and you can’t maintain a consistent writing style.
This is when planning comes into action, and believe me – it does wonders to your writing speed and clarity of thoughts!
What I’m talking about is a short, about five bullet-point long list of things you want to tell about in your piece of writing. You may have a very clear general idea about what you have to say, but when it comes to the actual writing, having a more detailed action plan is crucial in order to produce a logical and well-structured story. You will also avoid jumping from subject to subject and returning to things you’ve already discussed if you have a nice blueprint of all the main points in a logical sequence!
Planning also helps you to add substance to your story. Not having enough to say was probably one of the reasons you dreaded writing essays and reports at school, am I not right in saying that? You can write all you have to say on half a page and your flow of thoughts is exhausted!
Of course, not all types of writing need to be long and comprehensive. Sometimes your goal might be quite the opposite – to put all information into a short and concise piece of text. A typical example of such writing would be an e-mail including instructions for a project partner. You don’t need to write it as long as an essay as it would only inhibit the recipient’s perception and your instructions might become dubious.
Still, a clear idea of what exactly you want to say in your e-mail in a form of a short list is going to make a big difference in your writing time and clearness of thoughts while you write.
Let’s have a look at a bullet-list I drew up before I started to write this article:
- Speaking as you write is not enough!
- Planning as a crucial element of the writing process;
- Planning helps adding substance;
- Planning example;
- Planning aids perception.
Bear in mind as well that planning adds not only substance to what you write, it also helps structuring the text which aids the perception of the reader. You can’t forget that on most occasions you don’t write only for yourself. There’s almost always a person who the written message is created for so you have to keep in mind that you have to make your writing a pleasant and easy reading as well!
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