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Week 4 The Power of SMART Targets - seeing the finish line

Time is not the enemy. Sometimes writing a whole article of HEA application just seems to big a job and so easily slips down our list of things we are happy to attempt. Breakdown these larger tasks into smaller chunks and reward yourself when you achieve your target.

Often at this stage participants are seeing the value in the quarantined time in their calendar. Discussions around how protected this time is are of interest with a chance for people to share thoughts hints and tips about how to make this time protected. We don't answer emails when we are teaching and often writing requires the same commitment. How public is the allocation of this time as uninterruptable time?

Tips for Smarter Writing - linkLink opens in a new window

Use these writing tricks and tips to elevate your prose:

  1. Don’t worry about your first draft. A lot of writers fall victim to writer’s blockLink opens in a new window at the very beginning of a project. It can be hard to start writing when you’re staring at a blank page, not sure exactly where a piece will end up. At this early stage, it’s best to put aside perfectionism and just get your story idea down on paper. Start out by freewriting with a writing prompt or by building an outline. This can help you gain the confidence you need to complete a draft.
  2. Cut the fluff. Editing can transform good writing into great writing. When editing,Link opens in a new window look for scenes that don’t advance the plot, overly long descriptions, and anything that won’t sustain a reader’s attention. Whether you’re working on short stories, business writing, content marketing, or nonfiction essays, try to match the word count of similar published pieces.
  3. Rewrite, then rewrite again. Most great writers consider rewriting an integral part of the writing process. Writing a scene multiple times in different ways can help you distill these different attempts into the best writing you have to offer. Rewriting helps you work out any parts that don’t make sense or are illogical, which will help your writing sound smarter and more considered.
  4. Read your work out loud. Reading your work out loud will almost certainly make you a better writer. Embarrassing as it may seem in the moment, speaking the words out loud is a great way to notice the rhythm of your sentences and catch any unintended repetition or awkward word choices.
  5. Learn how to hook your readers. Your hook-writing styleLink opens in a new window will depend on whether you’re a fiction writer working on a novel or a copywriter blogging for a company, but every good writer has a strategy for generating interest. Try starting your piece with an emotional scene or a surprising statement. The important thing is that your first sentence, scene, or page creates questions in your reader’s mind, encouraging them to keep reading. Beware of the obvious hook—spend time coming up with a thoughtful, unique hook that will make your writing sound smart, not gimmicky.
  6. Write concisely. Short sentences with simple words tend to sound smarter than long sentences full of big words. You don’t have to sound like Ernest Hemingway, but you should try cutting unnecessary language from your text. Often, it will make your piece more concise and authoritative.

Websites of Interest


Writing, Like a Road Trip


Writing’s like a road trip: trying to get to the next stop

this factory process of keeping things moving

Trying to get to the next stop,

he said up the body count,

It’s more assembly line thinking,

so I’m upping the body count

Trying to get to the next stop

now I want to sit a while before going to the next place

Those months that I didn’t do much

hurry, think of a project

Where I was just sad

I don’t see the end of it.

Good ideas don’t come out of busy days.