This article released on Skills Portal looks at five practical tips to prevent writer’s block when writing technical reports.
Every good writer will experience ‘writer’s block’ at some point in their career. If you find yourself in this frustrating space these tips will provide a way out.
According to Phillip Verwey, a specialist in technical report writing and course leader for Alusani Skills & Training Network®, writer’s block is a common scourge amongst technical writers.
Here are 5 practical ways to overcome this battle of the mind:
Divide and conquer
Break the writing up into small sections and write one section at a time, says Verwey. Looking at pages of data can cause you to feel overwhelmed and demotivated. This is very often the cause of the block in your mind. On the contrary grouping your research can give you a sense of control and direction.
Take it easy
“… write that which is easy, that which you know” , advises Verwey. Even if the material that you know only features at the end of the report, do it first. Writing about familiar content will stimulate you to write other parts of the report.
Breaking the rules
“Grammar book rules are the things that shut your brain down”. According to Verwey these books are generally based on the Queen’s English and does not fit into the South Africa context. Grammar books should only be used after the report has been completed as a form of correction.
Begin with the end in mind
Verwey urges writers to “write abstracts, introductions and summaries at the very end.” Wait until you have compiled the report before you fill in those missing links.” In fact Verwey advises writers to compile the conclusion first and use it as a guide for the rest of the report.
Sleep on it
This is often the hardest tip to follow because of time constraints in the workplace, explains Verwey. However rest is one of the most effective remedies for writer’s block. Giving your mind the space to disengage with the material can be refreshing and give you the boost you need to tackle your assignment.
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