Welcome to our round table blog! The antidote to writing in isolation at work
Writers are used to writing in isolation
We teach many workshops across many industries, and we notice that writing is too often a solitary act. And not an easy one at that. Writers struggle to produce documents, often without tools to make the process better and without a sense of confidence about being on the right track. In short, writing at work generally produces this feeling:
Writers can thrive and get stronger with a bit more collaboration
Writers going it alone is harder on them and produces less clear documents. Different brains work in different ways, so we actually benefit from and need each other. A single writer has limits, but if they get input from a second person, suddenly the document jumps in quality with a fraction of the effort. Sharing the process like that can even be fun ;).
Let’s break the cycle of isolation!
For those of you who have taken our workshops, you know we do things differently. We’d like to give you a taste of that here. The purpose of this blog is to create that same feeling of collaboration that we build in workshops.
Help us create a community
Send us your insights, ideas, questions.
Find chunks of writing that feel tangled up. Write a second version or ask us to.
Write your own articles for us to post.
Let’s remind each other what writing can be: smooth, enjoyable, and a way to effect change in the world. It matters.
We leave you with a challenge
What would it be like to “write” less in your documents but “talk” more? So rather than sitting down to “write” a document, reframe the process. Think in terms of talking. Try:
Brainstorming with a peer—Notice how you explain a document that you’re trying to write. Or talk through where you are getting stuck. Talking is usually a relief all by itself, and your peer’s insights can often be gold. You can also record what you say and turn it into actual content.
Going for a walk—Get away from your desk and the act of “writing.” Think ambiently when you’re not under pressure to produce immediately, and ideas will flow much more easily.
Imagining your reader in front of you—Visualize them. Talk to them, record yourself, and capture the words. Consider if it’s different from what you would have written. Usually, you explain ideas more clearly, efficiently, and in a more connected spirit.
Talking to a friend—If you explain your ideas to someone outside your work world, it breaks you out of the same-old, same-old thinking and language patterns. You often stumble across just the right way to articulate things in conversation, and your friend often asks questions readers themselves might ask. It is a refreshing change for you as a writer and has good effects on the document you’re writing (this assumes you’re not writing confidential stuff).
Let us know how it goes!