Just Write

How often do you sit down to work on a project, open up a clean Google doc, and proceed to stare at said Google doc for 10 minutes (or more), not even sure where to begin? It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or have been writing professionally for years—all writers run into this at some point. In fact, I did it just now in starting this blog post.

And the best recommendation I have when you find yourself in that place—just write. Start somewhere. Anywhere. Find the place where you can focus, turn off your phone and email alerts, and just start.

I have number of ideas for what to talk about in this blog this semester, but after reading through your notes from the first week of class and reviewing your news releases, I thought what you might need (or even want) at the start of a new semester are helpful resources to get you in the right frame of mind and ready to write. So, below are a number of articles I hope will help prepare for what lies ahead in PUBR 330. I’ve selected a few that span a variety of topics and tips, from the psychology of creating the best space in which to write to tips for crafting a good headline.

Let me know in the comments which of these are most helpful, or if there are other areas of writing in which you need inspiration. What other topics would you like us to talk about related to PR and writing in this blog this semester?

A Few Writing Resources and Articles to Help You Get Started:

 

26 thoughts on “Just Write

  1. I enjoyed looking through your resources! They are all useful, but I think I enjoyed the “7 Mistakes” one the best personally. I feel that I don’t always recognize some of those mistakes so not only did it open my eyes to the potential mistakes, but also how to fix and edit them!
    Besides those resources though, I feel that in writing sometimes I don’t have good examples or “inspo” to go off of which I usually appreciate seeing! So something that also might be helpful is including examples of great writers (blogs, assignment examples, etc.) to help get the creative energy flowing! Just like how on Instagram we follow great lifestyle accounts, it might also be helpful to pay attention to great PR writers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally, I really enjoyed reading “The Psychology of Writing and the Cognitive Science of the Perfect Routine”. I think I liked this post because I saw a lot of similarities between the writers and myself. When I write my best, I followed a routine. Waking up early is my number one tip to anyone that struggles with having a foggy brain later in the day. I think the best way for me to learn how to do assignments is through examples. I would love to see some of your own work to grasp a better understanding of news releases and the inverted triangle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear you liked this article, Kara. I, too, believe in establishing a routine for writing to help get into the flow. It’s good to know when and where you write best, so you can set yourself up for more productive writing time.

      Like

  3. I absolutely agree with Morgan that the “7 Fixes for Common Writing Mistakes” was the most useful tool. I am also inspired to actually start using Grammarly. I am familiar with it, but I have never actually used it. These are fantastic tools to use to improve writing in general. In terms of inspiration, I personally would to further expand on the subject of crafting a good Headline. The headline and the deck are probably the parts that I change around the most. I am almost never confident in them. Gaining some further inspiration for writing these two items would elevate my writing so much! I feel like I could also benefit from finding good “key words” that might really make my writing stand out from the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We will look at a number of samples this semester to help find inspiration for headlines, leads, and overall good PR writing. Plus, the more you practice, the more confident you’ll become in these!

      Like

  4. I love that you included Grammarly as a source! I downloaded the app for my computer last semester and it has helped me so much, especially since I write a lot for my classes. I also highly recommend Grammarly, especially for students who are majoring in PR, communications, or journalism. After going through the resources you provided, I personally liked “7 Fixes for Common Writing Mistakes” because I felt that it resonates with me more than the other articles; I tend to notice my writing mistakes until someone who is editing my paper tells me so. As for this semester, I am really interested in talking about how to transition writing tones when writing for PR (ex. transitioning from writing a news press about politics to writing about something in the entertainment industry: Does the tone for each of these press releases need to differ from one another?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear your endorsement of Grammarly. It’s such a great resource that everyone should take advantage of. And yes, we’ll talk more about voice and tone as we get into the various assignments this semester. It will change depending on what you’re writing for and who you’re representing.

      Like

  5. This blog post was filled with advantageous resources and tips that I am confident will leave its mark on my writing. I am one who tends to write according to how I speak, therefore I took the initiative to download Grammarly. This resource will most definitely help me due to Grammar (sadly) being my weakness in writing. The more we write whether it’s News Releases, Blog Posts, or quick snippets of explaining an idea of a campaign, all will be very useful. Some topics I would love to see discussed in class this semester would be the most successful campaigns, the cross-over between PR writing and journalistic writing, and the writing part of the execution process of a campaign. I am eager and await learning these topics. Thank you for these articles and your blog post!

    Like

    1. Thanks for this feedback, Mekenna! We’ll dive in more deeply into each of these topics you’ve mentioned over the course of this semester. And yes, the more we practice the different types of writing, the more clear it will become and the more comfortable you’ll be with the different types of writing and tactics.

      Like

  6. I often struggle with knowing where to begin when writing as well. But, when I am given a topic and have a good initial thought it is actually really hard for me to put the pen down. I think that when I am prompted I do much better, but a blank page, and not knowing where to begin is a scary thing.

    An older friend who is a Design professional once told me that though she mostly deals with visuals, she also does a fair share of writing for her job. She has individuals who work under her and told me that it is one thing for people to hand in amazing visuals with mediocre writing, but it is another thing to hand in amazing visuals with outstanding writing. She emphasized how important it is to invest in Grammarly and how much that simple tool can elevate my writing.

    I would be interested in writing about our hope for our future careers or things that we each are individually passionate about.

    Like

    1. Your friend is correct! I have seen when poor writing can take away from a strong visual. Even though we are a very visual society, writing still matters. They say content is king for a reason! My goal this semester is to also give you a chance to incorporate your careers goals and passions into a few of the assignments to see how you will be able to incorporate what you’re learning into what you want to do in life.

      Like

  7. I often struggle with knowing where to begin when writing as well. But, when I am given a topic and have a good initial thought it is actually really hard for me to put the pen down. I think that when I am prompted I do much better, but a blank page, and not knowing where to begin is a scary thing.

    An older friend who is a Design professional once told me that though she mostly deals with visuals, she also does a fair share of writing for her job. She has individuals who work under her and told me that it is one thing for people to hand in amazing visuals with mediocre writing, but it is another thing to hand in amazing visuals with outstanding writing. She emphasized how important it is to invest in Grammarly and how much that simple tool can elevate my writing.

    I would be interested in writing about our hope for our future careers or things that we each are individually passionate about.

    Like

  8. Thanks for these resources! I enjoyed both “How to Write a Headline…” and “A good lead is everything — here’s how to write one.” I actually hate creating headlines and titles. My first choice is to use the simplest headline possible. This can be useful in some aspects of PR, but it often doesn’t work well for creative writing. I like that the author mentions not to be attached to the first headline you write. Just like any other part of the paper or article you are writing, the headline deserves to go through a first, second, and third draft stage if needed. Leads can also be tricky. There can be so much pressure to immediately capture your audience’s attention, that nothing seems good enough! I appreciate that “A good lead is everything…” offers many examples which writers can use as inspiration for future articles.

    Like

  9. I have to say that I agree that it would be incredibly helpful and beneficial to have the resources to help throughout the semester and in the writing assignments. I absolutely LOVE Grammarly and it really is a life saver. There have been many important assignments that I have had a chance to better with the tool. The only downside to it is that I am not in the habit of using it, so I miss out on opportunities to improve my writing.

    The articles that were included in the post are incredibly helpful and I will be using them in my future writing. As someone who has always struggled with writing, it is nice to have those guides and be able to receive feedback on ways that I can improve. I have felt like I have never received any actual valuable feedback that is relevant to what I am struggling with. It has always been vauge so specificity would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    Like

  10. I loved reading this post and it was comforting to know that there are other people out there who struggle to start writing. As a journalism major, I was drawn to the article about good leads. I loved the quote at the beginning of the article that said, “The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead.” — William Zinsser, On Writing Well. I think this is so essential for journalists to keep in mind.

    Like

  11. Reading over this blog post and looking over the attached articles were very helpful to me! I think something that I need help with personally is headlines, and finding the world that are most eye catching and effective without being false. This is where the article titled How to Write a Headline (Or, Why This Isn’t the Perfect Title) came in handy. I feel like today a lot of people use ‘clickbait’ in order to get more views, but in the process they are giving people false information and false advertisement. I need to find a way to be genuine and authentic in my headlines!

    I feel like something we should go over in class or over this blog post this semester would be organization. That is one of my weak points, and I feel like writing can be so much stronger with the right organization!

    Like

    1. I agree with you. I believe we are supposed to organize it in the Inverted Pyramid Style which is what I would like to go over. I have never be taught to write in this way and am finding it a little hard to understand.

      Like

  12. “Beautiful PR Writing that Stinks at Achieving Anything” was hilarious and informative at the same time. As I mentioned in class, I want to learn to produce campaigns that do more than appease the eye. I found it fascinating how the author clearly defined three audience members PR writings must cater to: the journalist or influencer, that gatekeeper’s audience, and the company/cause/organization/client. For whatever reason, defining the audience in this way really clicked for me! The author also offered tangible tips for cutting down writings in order to get straight to the point. Grammerly is another one of my favorite resources as well!

    I am interested in learning more about writing blog posts and for social media, and how that is different than a news release (or if it is similar).

    Like

  13. My favorite was “The Psychology of Writing and the Cognitive Science of the Perfect Routine”. I usually find it hard to focus and tap into my creativity. I found comfort in reading this article, as it explained the problem I have been having and offered some great solutions. I am going to implement these tips and experiment with writing in different environments to figure out what writing environment I work best in.

    I would like to talk more about writing in the Inverted Pyramid Style. I have yet to attempt writing this way. I watched a video on how to write in this style, but still feel unsure about how to structure my writing to satisfy the technique.

    Like

  14. I really enjoyed reading writing mistakes: 7 fixes. People used to tell me I’m not a talented writer and I could only get so good. That used to discourage me until I realized it wasn’t about talent but practice. I had to work really hard and edit my work to make sense of what I was trying to say. and looking at these tools will hep me even more.

    Like

  15. This blog post was concise, clear and simple enough for me to remain engaged and eager to read! The articles are some great resources to make clear writing. In reading some of these articles, I realized that the best reads are the ones that get to the point easily.

    I specifically loved the How To Write A Headline article. I learned that the “How to’s” and “10 Ways to Achieve X” templates for titles are actually the forefront of the articles I read the most. These titles parallel to good article writing in the way that it is direct and simple.

    Like

  16. I completely agree with what Jordan said! I think How to Write a Headline article was super interesting. This is definitely something I have struggled with in the past, trying to articulate my ideas and thoughts in not many words. I have used Grammarly for many papers in the past and have found it to be extremely helpful so I’m excited to continue using that.

    As for the semester, I would like to talk more about transitions and how to make those a little more succinct, but also dive a little deeper into the Inverted Pyramid Style. I’ve really only done academic writing in the past, so I’m hoping these would be helpful for the writing style we’re using in this class!

    Like

  17. I absolutely identify with having trouble finding where to start writing. I often feel very overwhelmed by what the paper or project needs to look like in it’s final draft, and feel unable to begin anywhere. Other times I feel as though I have so many different ideas i’m not sure how they will all work together. I really enjoyed looking over the resources that you provided, and I am excited to “face my writing fears” this semester!

    Like several others mentioned, two things I would like to really focus on learning how to do well this semester would be organization within press releases, blogs, etc.

    Like

  18. I often get stuck when I first start writing because I focus so much on the first sentence or the first paragraph, when in reality I should just write and move on, so that I can go back and edit and realize what I was missing. I also loved reading the 7 mistakes piece, especially because it told you how to fix your mistakes. The examples really helped me to understand exactly what the problem was, and I will use these when writing in the future.

    Like

  19. During my time at APU, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to take Writing 1 which was essentially a class focused on “writing about writing.” I received great insight into what my writing process looks like and how I can get it to a place where I can produce my best type of writing. I learned that I focus more when I’m wearing comfy clothes, my makeup is off, hair pulled up, and in a library. I rarely do my homework at home because I have a hard time focusing and would rather lay in my comfy bed. Once I understood my own writing process, I began to build the habit of always having my writing proofread by a friend or even my supervisor at work.

    I tend to find myself stuck when it comes to creative, journalistic writing. I’m stuck in an academic bubble and need to find a way where I can shift my tone depending on what type of writing I’m engaged in. The resources provided will be a great help because I enjoy red marks on my papers that are filled with constructive criticisms from my professors. If I spent more time on grammarly or one on one mentoring at the writing center, I would probably have less marks. Thank you for sending us the websites, I have them bookmarked on my browser for future use!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s