Getting Your Thoughts into Words - Part 2

, , | Colin Dawson

Freewriting

With freewriting, you start writing without quite knowing where your content will end up.  You write as fast as possible to uncover new ideas.

The process usually works like this:

  1. Use a mindmap to record your ideas as fast as possible
  2. Find the essence of your content
  3. Revise your content to build on your learning objective
  4. Edit sentence by sentence

I use mindmapping as the key to plan a writing for learning experience.

The Knitter’s Method

While the carpenter works from the big framework towards the completed job, the free spirit just starts and sees where her piece of content will end up.  The free spirit often does a lot of revising to create focus and flow.

Both carpenters and free spirits tend to leave editing last.  They first get the content right before polishing each word.

The knitter is different, she makes each part of the content perfect before moving on.

As Mark McGuinness (Mark McGuinness | Creative Coach (lateralaction.com) ) writes           

                “One of the sacred cows of the creative thinking industry is that we should separate idea generation, execution, and evaluation so that they don’t interfere with each other.  But my experience as a writer and coach suggests that this isn’t how many creative professionals work.

                When I’m writing, I’m reading, evaluating and tweaking as I go.  I’ll write a few sentences then pause and go back to read them through.  Sometimes it’s immediately obvious I havent quite captured the thought or image, so I’ll make a few changes before I go on.  If I get stuck, I’ll stop and read through the whole piece, trying to pick up the thread of inspiriation where I lost it.  Once I see where I got tangled up, it’s a relief to untangle it and get going again.”

Experienced writers thrive on the Knitting Method.  But for beginning writers the risk is spending a lot of time knitting perfect paragraphs that may later need to be cut.  The process may feel more organic and creative, but it can take longer, too.

So what’s the best way to write?

No perfect writing strategy exists.

And most of us mix our stragies depending on what we are writing for, how the writing goes, and perhaps even depending on our mood.  Sometimes you may find yourself mixing all methods for writing one piece of content.

What’s important is to pay attention to what works for you.  When do you get in a flow?  What triggers this flow?  Can you repeat it next time?

Making a Modlette… if you can think it, you can do it

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