By Tabashshum Islam
Global Scholars understand the power of writing. From affirmations (I am an awesome writer & changemaker!) to petitioning for better policy, the power of the word is just too great to ignore.
Here are some of our top five tips to flex your writing muscles and raise confidence as writers and changemakers.
1. Read your writing out loud… BACKWARDS!
When we read our writing out loud, we may end up changing the phrasing to best suit our voice and make sure we communicate to readers what we want to convey. Reading out loud also helps to catch spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
By reading backwards, sentence by sentence, we can focus on the actual sentence structure and its grammar needs rather than the story/narrative. It might feel a little funny, but we are much more likely to catch mistakes by reading backwards! So try reading your writing out loud from beginning to end AND from end to beginning.
2. Change the font color to white.
So often our introduction is brolic, because we end up tinkering with it the most. Balanced writing requires attention to all parts of our project! So when you find yourself re-writing your introduction for the hundredth time, try highlighting the sections of your project that have received enough attention and change the font color to white — Out of sight, out of mind. Move on to the next section, work on it until you are satisfied, change the font color to white, and keep chugging on!
3. Keep an observation journal.
To understand how to enact change in our world, we must observe it. Practice jotting down your thoughts and ideas. You can even draw, sketch, collage, and scribble – whatever you want. There are no hard and fast rules. The habit of journaling is a great way to practice writing in a free environment. It can also be therapeutic and help get the creative juices flowing.
This can be done anywhere: a document somewhere on your computer desktop (which you can even password protect), an online blog, a physical journal or sketchpad.
4. Have other people (you trust!) look at your writing.
If you are submitting a personal statement, or making your writing ready for public consumption, we cannot stress enough to have at least 4 people that you trust to look at your writing. Allow for others to make comments and suggestions. Send it over email, share the document, print it out for them double-spaced, read it out loud!
It can be tiring to look at our writing so share your writing with your network when you hit a writer’s block or need a fresh perspective. Let your writing breathe under someone else’s supervision. And remember, at the end of the day, it is up to you to take on suggestions.
Remember to always be aware if your writing projects are time sensitive. Sending your best friend a copy of your essay the night before is due is unfair to both of you! Make others aware of when you would like your essay back by, and give them enough time to get their life together. Set up a time so that you can hash out ideas, doubts, suggestions, and more. It is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and for you to see what questions come up for your readers.
5. Rewrite your current draft word for word on a different/separate page.
When you’re out of ideas, and writer’s block feels like an ailment, the solution is simpler than you think. What do writers do? They write! Nurse your writer’s block by rewriting your current draft word for word on a separate page or document. Don’t think, just write. And the words may just flow from your fingertips.