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06/06/2008

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Lally

A hundred words you can have now. Fifty? That'll take some time.

Sarah Morgan

There are some great quotes about brevity here: http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=84
I actually find Twitter really helpful in practicing saying what I mean more concisely. But there's nothing like a great editor. And there's NOTHING like self-editing with just a red pen. You can always get tighter.
(this is 49 words :) )

Kevin Dugan

Lally and Sarah bring to mind a quote my 7-year old daughter taught me. "Girls rule. Boys drool."

Thanks for the add Sarah. And I agree about Twitter and editing.

Wendy Bigham

It helps me to keep writing when I have the block. Write anything: an e-mail, a comment, a list of things to do, anything to take my mind off the pressure. I try to take no longer than a 15 to 30- minute break, especially when I'm on deadline. And it's easier when I go back to the project.

I was working with a young, southern privileged writer a few months ago and she said she was having one of those "I can't write days," and was sorry her story wasn't done yet. And we were on deadline. Editors have no sympathy when you go that route.And bosses will fire you.

Kevin Dugan

Wendy - That makes good sense...writing through the block vs. blowing the deadline. :-)

Kami Huyse

What saved me in writing is knowing that it doesn't all have to be perfect as it comes out. Write the premise first, then the arguments, and finish with a killer lead.

Kevin Dugan

Kami - Great point...rough drafts rule!

David Weiner, PR Newswire

Kevin,

I feel your phases.

One of my favorite exercises in poetry was taking a poem (or several) from your favorite poet and trying to emulate the style or form ... though this would be very difficult to replicate with bloggers, it works for poets, lyricists and maybe even politicians!

Sean Williams

Technique!

Inspiration is transitory and subject to distractions. Technique is applying process and grinding out copy. I revisit my objectives for the piece and break things into chunks: articulate message, rephrase message, support message with examples, add human voice. And, I write the nut graf first (in a news-type story), not the lede. I'm also not afraid to recast (more of an editing discipline) to give my creative side a short rest.

I've honed the technique that helps me avoid block and deal with it when it comes.


Online Publicity Journal

Writers block = Horrible!
We have no set tricks per se except to write a little and come back later to write some more - build on what you have written? No use in sitting there staring at a screen for hours scratching your head right?

Ashley

My biggest challenge in writing is getting a piece started. I often find myself staring at a blank screen while everything I want to say stays a jumbled mess in my head.

What usually helps me is to just start typing as if I were just having a casual conversation with someone. I write as if I were explaining the topic to a friend. It is easy to go back and reword the writing in a more formal manner, and at least the idea is out and on paper!

Kestutis Gecas

I like writing, but in my native - Lithuanian :). Good text is the same as good music, emotional and with rythm. Text must to leave something in reader's heart.

Kevin Dugan

Kestutis - I like the comparison of words and music. Inspirational.

And I agree with everyone that it seems the best way to do it is just get started and not worry about it being perfect.

Sean - I like the idea of process. My concern is that my writing will become too formulaic. This happened to me after writing b to b case histories for several years in a row. But process will not let you down.

David - I understand what you're pointing out and it's an interesting idea. My only concern there is I will pay too much HOMAGE and it might border on plagirism...it's a fear more than a rational concern.

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