October 20, 2010

Breaking my duck

My first ever blog entry by Nicola Jones aged 42 & 3/4

What I would like to achieve with my writing

The big plan is to develop my writing skills so that I can tackle writing articles to support my business.  I am told that speaking and writing are two very powerful marketing tools. 

Part of me thinks that I should just be able to knock out appropriate material, and I do have a lot of ideas.  But I do know that whatever buzz I get from writing well, publishing makes the author vulnerable to criticism, and maybe just vulnerable full stop.  So, I have to get over that inhibition.  If I could do that I would have achieved a lot.

I was a bit worried about doing this course, because I do tend to think I have to be qualified before I can do anything.  In all honesty though, I will benefit from a structured approach to the topic and from getting feedback from Sally and other students.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Things I need to work on are;

  • getting started!
  • giving myself adequate time to edit/re-write
  • over-coming feelings of inhibition and doubt about what I write, maybe by finding ways of testing it out with informed people
  • stylistically, I am not sure as yet, because this form of writing is new to me.  I haven't met the 5 Ws and the H before.  I guess the challenge is to make the writing engaging whilst getting in the content.

Things that might help me are;

  • having some experience of writing structured material, both as an advocate and a trainer
  • having worked in an environment where the audience, whether judge or jury, were key to determining the style of the piece
  • spending my current working life being driven by learning outcomes, so having the effect of my work very much in mind at the outset
  • a love of words
  • a desire to communicate

Here we go!

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Sally Ballard

    Well – you are well on your way, Nicola.
    You say you haven’t yet met the 5Ws and H before – that will come. But already you realise the challenge is to make the writing engaging while getting in the content. That is absolutely right. Also, you mention how your work makes you aware of the need to deliver your ‘piece/speech’ in a format and language suitable for your audience. Spot on. Just so in journalistic writing.
    So much to do with writing is to do with confidence. You know your subject inside out. You also know your audience. You are used to delivering your content to a number of audience types (or markets). You are used to communicating clearly and accurately…and no doubt, engagingly. So all you have to do now is to put that down in writing!

    I like your analysis of Roy Hattersley’s New Stateman article. But you apologise for not being able to maintain your concentration…stick with complex sentence structures. I would say that if your attention was wandering either the content didn’t interest you (but it does)..in which case, I’d argue that the writer hadn’t constructed his article in a compelling enough way. Also, his language and sentence structure seemed to complicate an already complex subject. He distanced the article from the reader. It made it inaccessible. Maybe Hattersley was on an off day. Readers will give articles a go, if they are interested in the subject. But after several tries…will wander off if reading the information just becomes hard work. Writers don’t need to dumb down their work. But they do need to write clearly and accessibly. And there’s no excuse for not doing that. Especially if you are an award-winning writer.

    Look forward to seeing you in the Forum and in the Chat sessions if you can make it – Best, Sally

    25 Oct 2010, 20:21

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