Even though Editresse is an editing company, we’re writers first. We know writing can be a daunting task. How many times have you sat in front of a computer screen, locked in a staring contest with a blinking cursor? We’re here to make it a little easier.
At its core, writing doesn’t have many rules. Sure, you’re expected to follow grammatical conventions, to capture readers’ attention, to say something meaningful–but not right away. You can approach writing in whatever way works for you. You can use shorthand. You can jot down incomplete sentences and flesh out your ideas afterward. The hardest part of writing, in many respects, is getting started.
Next time you need to write something, try rebelling against what you think the writing process is supposed to look like. Use an app (or your computer’s microphone) to dictate your ideas instead of typing them. You’ll likely need to go back and add in proper punctuation if you’re speaking in full sentences, but at least your thoughts will be on the page. And the physical act of typing–and possibly getting bogged down by the pressure to make your words “sound good”–is taken out of the equation.
Draft sections of your paper to be assembled later. Don’t worry about perfect organization from the get-go; you can write the middle of your paper first and leave the introduction for later. Or you can start from the end and work your way to the beginning. As long as the finished product proceeds logically, it won’t matter how it came to be.
Read similar material to get a sense of the compositional tone expected in your writing. We devoted most of our respective graduate school lives to the social sciences, which is why academic editing comes naturally to us; we’re well acquainted with the so-called “style” of academic writing. Most of you probably read constantly already. If you can, try to emulate the written sense of voice common to your discipline. If you read enough, you’ll begin to absorb stylistic techniques to apply to your own work.
Good luck! We’re here when you need a second set of eyes and ears.