Ask an Expert: How do I Make Writing Easier?


ASK AN EXPERT:  Why Do I Always Save the Most Tedious Task for Last?

Q: I hate writing, but my job requires it.  What’s the best way to just get it over with?

A: Many people in your position, scientists, tech pros, and business people who must write as part of their profession, feel the same way; as a result, they put off writing tasks. This procrastination can take two forms:
  • You put off writing until the last minute.
  • You spend all your time “wordsmithing,” or continually rewriting a document before you complete it.
Either of these habits can hold your workflow as documents and assignments pile up. What can you do to solve the procrastination problem?
Make a couple of small changes and writing tasks will become much easier:
  • Make writing a habit.  Writing a document is a bit like learning to play an instrument: Just as you practice an instrument to improve, you should practice your writing. Small changes make the difference; experts suggest that writing for as little as 15 minutes a day can positively impact your writing.
If you write for 15 minutes a day, before you know it, you’ll have a draft. Making daily progress will help take off the pressure of looming deadlines and keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
  • Write first, edit later.  Stop editing while you’re writing. You might think that writing and editing simultaneously saves time. It doesn’t. Trying to refine your thoughts while they’re still forming will only slow you down. After you’ve completed a draft, then you can go back and edit it.
These two small changes can make a big difference in how you approach your writing tasks.