There are many situations in our life when we have to write papers or other stuff. Even if we don't plan to become fiction writers or academics in the future, in college, we still have to write a considerable amount of papers on different subjects. What's bad in this whole situation, is that people who don't plan to be creative writers and for whom writing is not a hobby or favorite past time, are very afraid to even start writing, although they may have a lot of smart and original thoughts to say. What to do in such a situation? Such a situation is a classic example of writing block, and to deal with it, some scientists and practitioners say, you don't have to be born with a talent. You just have to write. It's the same "practice makes perfect" thing: the more you write, the more you're good at it. And at first, it even does not matter what you write and how much, and how long - the main thing is to do it regularly, like brushing teeth.
So here are the four most simple exercises you can do to develop writing habits.
- Sit down at your computer. Start a stopwatch, and for the next 3-4 minutes jut write everything that comes to your mind. Do nor re-read, edit or analyze anything, do not think about what you're writing, if it's nicely put and grammatically correct. Just write whatever comes to your mind. After you're done, you can either delete your writing, or save it for future comparison, tracking the progress, and of course reading your mind-flows. This exercise helps to develop smooth writing, brainstorming and quick typewriting.
- Next, look out of the window or look around you. Find the first person or animal, and in 3 minutes, write down their thoughts. You don't have to practice psychopathy, just write down what they may think or what you think they are thinking. This practice develops imagination, smooth writing flow, and character analysis, and takes only 3 minutes.
- Pick one of the emails or posts that you have written yesterday or the other day. I advise picking something short, unless you feel overly eloquent. Your task is to rewrite this message, making it at least 10-15% shorter while conveying the same ideas and trying not to miss any of the important points. Skills developed with this exercise are: editing, nice word flow, learning to build clear structures and sentences. You should spend no more than 5 minutes on this task.
- Finally, learn a new word. Sounds totally corny, I know, but more words = more ammo. Plus, you can tell someone they're 'avuncular' and leave them wondering if you just insulted them or not. Total time required: 2 minutes.
According to psychologists, it takes 30 days to develop a new habit, so if you make an effort on yourself and assign 15 minutes every day without any exceptions to completing these little 4 exercises, you will soon notice that writing becomes easier and easier for you, words emerge from your under your pen on their own, and you don't have to suffer or put any effort at all to forge these words. After one month, it would be as easy for you to complete these 4 tasks as to take a daily shower or brush your teeth. And what's important, you will get better grades for your writing at school.
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