On Writer's Block
There are three tips we would like to share to help you if you are stuck.
- Everyone has interesting thoughts in their heads, including (and sometimes, especially) the people who think otherwise. Jotto is an internal tool. It is a safe space. You are not parading in front of the world. You are just sharing thoughts with your team. Don't agonize. Ship it!
- In the case of more complex concepts and stories, don't try to mush research, writing, and editing into one process. It is too easy to get bogged down. Break 'em up.
- Anyone can write if you just follow author Josh Seiden's three-step process:
- Find a place where you can sit without interruption for 20 minutes;
- set a timer for 20 minutes;
- Start writing and don't stop until the timer is done.
On Good Writing
Author and award-winning editor George Constable boils good writing down to two principles:
- don't confuse the reader
- don't bore the reader
Now let's break those two points down:
Where does confusion come from?
- Jamming too many thoughts together.
- Saying things indirectly.
- Using obscure terms.
- Failing to establish clear connections between thoughts or topics.
How to not bore the reader?
- Don't use more words than you need to, and don't ramble.
- Favor active verbs over "it is" and "there were."
- Vary sentence rhythm and length.
- Don't use big words when small ones will do.
- Write like you talk, and avoid formal language.
- Remember, good writing does not have to be long and it doesn't have to be fancy.
Image Credits: Lukas Blazek