Having recently started at Indigo Training, part of my induction programme was to attend the two-day Writing Dynamics™. I was really excited about the opportunity to develop my professional writing style.
Not only was it an insightful learning opportunity, the workshop was great for networking with different professions – from one of the biggest broadcasting companies to one of the world’s leading engineering brands.
An insightful question
The workshop opened with a question. “Ever thought of yourself as a professional writer?” To which we all responded “no”. The trainer then asked, “Do you send emails, write proposals, presentations?” It turned out that we all did a lot of writing as a part of our daily workload!
A shared problem
I enjoy writing, although the workshop made me realise I often suffer from writers’ block – staring at the screen overthinking the best way to express my ideas. It turned out I was not the only one having this problem, it’s very common.
Why is it such a common problem? When writing we like to jump right in, not giving adequate time for planning and editing. Admittedly I used to plan (20% of my time), draft (60%) and edit (20%), whereas professional writers spend 40% of their time planning, 25% drafting and 35% for editing. Writing Dynamics™ has helped me to ensure I do not waste time through inadequate planning.
I was told to bring a document I had previously written to measure its readability (using the FOG Index of readability). It provides your text with a score based on how readable your document is, so you can tailor your text to be fit for your intended audience. The ideal score for business text is 7-12, I scored 16. This told me that the document may not be easy to read, follow or be visually appealing – my readers may well lose interest!
Tried and tested techniques
The Writing Dynamics™ approach included a lot of tried and tested techniques developed by professional writers. These specifically improve a business professionals written communication skills – no matter what industry or level of seniority. The two-day workshop was packed with tips and critical information that will support me to ensure I write with clarity, brevity and impact – whilst saving time:
- Planning – When writing I would normally plan a little and then start typing, with random ideas coming up and disturbing the flow of my text. Writing Dynamics™ taught me to capture my sporadic and random thoughts using a ‘Pre-Cluster’. Then by identifying the main topics to create structure, with each idea then developed by adding greater detail.
- Drafting – Productive planning followed by adding a persuasive structure. It’s time to put pen to paper. The techniques I have developed have helped me to ensure I don’t fall back to pausing and overthinking – now I just let it flow.
- Editing – This is where you polish your text and get it ready for your boss to check or publish. I will be checking sentences and word lengths; it’s score on the FOG Index; grammar; punctuation and spelling. Throughout the whole process the techniques remind me to ensure it is fit for purpose and that the relevant points are addressed.
Back in the workplace
Now this blog post is ready for my boss to check – yes, I used the Writing Dynamics™ techniques to write this article. And whilst writing this I referred back to the workbook, which is packed with hints and tips, it’s been invaluable.
Want to add impact to your writing?
Writing Dynamics™ is available as a public workshop or in-house course.