“How do I prepare myself for writing?” is a common question and one that has no single correct answer. When do you do your best work? Whatever your work or task may be, it doesn’t have to be writing. Some people work best in the morning, others only after their daily dose of coffee. Still others burn the midnight oil and work well late into the night while their colleagues lose their productive edge as the sun sets. “To thine own self be true,” is a great idea when you have the freedom to choose when you work, but increasingly our lives are governed by schedules and deadlines that we do not control. You may have a deadline that requires you to work late at night when you recognize that you are far more productive early in the morning. If you can, consider one important step to writing success: know when you are most productive. If you cannot choose your timing, then dedication and perseverance are required. The job must be completed and the show must go on. Your effort demonstrates self-control and forbearance (as opposed to impatience and procrastination) and implies professionalism.
- 5.1: Think, Then Write - Writing Preparation
- There are several reasons why people fear writing, but there are also several strategies to reduce or eliminate those fears.
- 5.2: A Planning Checklist for Business Messages
- Preparation for the writing process involves purpose, research and investigation, reading and analyzing, and adaptation. In the first section we consider how to determine the purpose of a document, and how that awareness guides the writer to effective product.
- 5.3: Research and Investigation - Getting Started
- To make a writing project manageable, narrow your topic, focus on key points, plan your investigation for information, and stay organized as you go along.
- 5.4: Ethics, Plagiarism, and Reliable Sources
- Unlike writing for personal or academic purposes, your business writing will help determine how well your performance is evaluated in your job. Whether you are writing for colleagues within your workplace or outside vendors or customers, you will want to build a solid, well-earned favorable reputation for yourself with your writing. Your goal is to maintain and enhance your credibility, and that of your organization, at all times.
- 5.5: Completing Your Research and Investigation
- Once you become immersed in your sources, it can be easy to get carried away in the pursuit of information and lose sight of why you are doing all this research and investigation. As a responsible writer, you will need to plan not only how you will begin your information gathering, but also how you will bring it to a conclusion.
- 5.6: Reading and Analyzing
- When you read, do you read each and every word? Do you skim over the document and try to identify key terms and themes? Do you focus on numbers and statistics, or ignore the text and go straight to the pictures or embedded video? Because people read in many diverse ways, you as a writer will want to consider how your audience may read and analyze your document.