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Chapter 5. Getting Organized > Tip 25 Practice “Aerobic Writing”

Tip 25 Practice “Aerobic Writing”

When you jog or exercise in an aerobics class, you learn that continuity is important. So it is with aerobic writing. Just as you wouldn’t stop in mid-jog to shower up and then start jogging again, you shouldn’t stop aerobic writing to tidy up your language—not yet. Trust yourself. The good grooming will get done later, after the real workout. If you stop to perfect your writing at this stage, you’ll interrupt yourself—the creative mind will defer to the editorial mind—and you may not get that creative flow back.

Some Aerobic Writing Techniques

  • Use your outline as a guide.

  • Make a conscious effort to keep going and avoid editing.

  • If you know you’ve written a grammar mistake, misspelling, or awkward phrase, just circle it. Leave space for a later revision and keep going. Don’t fix it now.

  • If you’re writing by hand, leave lots of space on the page for later revisions.

  • If you’re using a computer and you can touch type, consider “invisible writing”—typing with the screen either turned off or blocked by a sheet of paper—so you won’t be tempted to look at and fix your writing too soon.

  • If you have writer’s block, try clustering your ideas. Or pretend you’re talking to a buddy, saying, “The idea is simple: what I mean is…” and talk the idea out. Then write down what you said.


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