Judi Goodwin is a journalist and teacher of creative writing based in the North West, this is her tips to unleash your writing power:
1. Keep fit and well. High energy copy never came from tired, hung-over or weary journalists. Make sure you eat well, rest well and get plenty of exercise – and write early in the day before you become tired.
2. Complete all your research before you start writing. Confident writing comes from the knowledge that you have all the facts at your fingertips. Though of course, if you realise something vital is missing, it’s never too late to fill the gaps.
3. Let talking to people be the backbone of your research. An enthusiastic expert can fire your passion for a subject much more than researching via books or the web.
4. Enjoy your writing. Remember it can be fun. Before you begin, close your eyes and remind yourself you have all the skills you need – and you’re going to enjoy it. Then be prepared to play with the words.
5. Do your best to memorise the information before you start writing. The time you invest in transcribing notes or reading and re-reading your research will mean you can write faster and more fluently without having to stop to check your facts.
6. Don’t get it right, get it written. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s only the first draft.
7. Contributing to prestigious titles can sometimes trigger the terror that brings on writer’s block. If it strikes, pretend you are writing to your mum or best friend – or for the local rag. It makes it less scary.
8. Write quickly and spontaneously without monitoring yourself. Resist the temptation to continually keep checking as you go. Unless you suspect you are seriously off track, leave the revisions until the piece is complete. Editing on the hoof only inhibits the creative part of your brain.
9. Use sights, sounds and smells in your writing to bring it to life. While you’re doing the interview, or at the location, make notes in any spare moments of the things you can see and hear. What are they wearing, is their collar a little frayed, a button missing? What does their home/office look and smell like?
10. Write from the heart – edit from the head. In other words plug into your passion when you write. You can always tone it down later if you decide you’ve gone OTT.
11. Wait a while before you revise. A couple of hours delay will help you be more objective about your own work. If possible edit next day – you will instantly see what changes are needed. Then, with a little polishing, you should have lively, engaging, energetic copy. Good luck.
Found on the Connect Media website.