Okay, so you have different assignments to write, complete, hand-in or upload. The research methods and tools may vary but the timelines given are pretty close together. One writing format is more conversational or poetic and the other is more academic or corporate.
This is probably where I’ll mention straight-up that my default writing, thinking and speaking style is more of the former though business writing is also a learned and proficient skill. On quieter days, I’d rather just give a head-nod, draw a picture, compose a song or write a few lines in a curly font to communicate something.
Maybe you have a wide vocabulary and are well-versed in whatever your native language is, but how often do you make use of all the words you know on a regular basis? Unless project presentations and corporate seminars are an essential part of your freelancer flow, it takes a quiet environment, many focused seated marathons and some strain on the brain to formulate something like a thesis, dissertation, proposal or business magazine article – while writing a book, scripting a production or maintaining a blog.
This month, my writing rhythm was challenged and I was both calm and pumped – at first…until it dawned on me that I was spending so much time researching and reading (a book for 1 of the 4 articles to be completed, submitted and published in Caribbean StartUp Scene e-magazine), that I wasn’t tending to this blog as frequently. Yeah, posts were published and videos filmed and uploaded along the way – true…
Idea mapping, batching, scheduling and capturing b-roll always come in handy when it comes to consistency with online content. That and some late nights spent editing footage.
Still, it was something else that was tugging at my mind. The writing style for the entrepreneurial e-Magazine is more academic and involves online data analysis and on-the-phone ‘cold-calls’ (I set mine to ‘warm.’) If you’re already subscribed to this blog or have read three or more posts, you’ve already figured out that it’s more of a conversation style flow here on ‘Joy within.’ How odd would it be to share on a topic as delightful as joy as if I were a government minister making a dry public service announcement on the national water shortage? Writing in different formats is a lot like thinking in different languages (by the way, anyone else a fan of Spanish and French too?)
There’s a reason for each approach to composition, and that usually relates to the audience and purpose.
Thanks to Belle Holder-Hall, Media Communications Consultant of Ten Habitat and coordinator of C.S.S e-Magazine, I learned that personal opinions don’t stand a chance for a business magazine, without solid research, confirmed quotes and noted references. Very different from this blog, songwriting, composing an IG post, website content writing or even shaping a business proposal.
So, how can we write simultaneously and successfully in different styles for projects with a similar timeline?
Just as we preserve electricity by turning off lights in rooms we are not using at the moment, and just as the sea has tides, picture each writing style has a matching tide or switch.
Here are 3 comprehensive tips to get you through the process and help you identify your best writing rhythm:
- Use your time wisely, and recognize the moments that align. Early mornings tend to inspire deep breaths and poetic writing or journaling. The brain is still waking up and getting oriented. Lighter moments make for brighter content. Perusing the news online or in print incites deeper concentration and (ideally) social responsibility. This also introduces the brain to a more factual writing format. When you’re in that zone, make the most of it and get to work. Try reading your article or paper out loud – presenter style, and ride that wave.
- Research methods may differ. Itemize things to do: calls to make, questions to ask, quotes to collect, sites to scan, and books to read. Make notes, set a number of paragraphs or words to complete in a day, and print out to review your writing without too much initial attachment to editing. When you don’t stick to a schedule, making up for it is expected or inevitable (insert long night and hot drinks here.) I use Trello as a project management app to store edited articles/related pics, and map tasks in Google Calendar. You can sync the two if you like. Spreadsheets are handy too. Whatever works for you.
- Speak the truth. No self-bullying or trash talk. You’re a writer, not a drill sergeant. If the objectives of your writing assignments are to encourage, examine or educate, take a moment during some quiet time to set your mind to the frequency of that message. Remember why you care and why this matters. A frustrated mind makes for sloppy or reckless writing. When you keep the ultimate purpose at the centre of your mind, it can help you leap over inspirational hurdles, overcome temporary obstacles like ‘writer’s block’ and complete each assignment to time, and in fine form.
So what's your why?
Are you working on your degree, completing a thesis, outlining a book, finalizing a grant proposal, prepping blog posts and social media content, or writing a magazine article? What works well for you and can encourage someone else reading this post?
How can you pour joy as fuel into one or more of these outlets? If your joy springs from the living water well of the Lord it doesn’t expire. Whether you start the day with thanksgiving and prayer, make a daily gratitude list, stick a statement onto your fridge or set aside time to refresh your mind at a particular time during the day, remember your why…and you see those assignments you’re working on? – you can get it write.
If you’re anything like me, you thoroughly enjoy writing, whether it’s by hand or online – for leisure or for business. Like anything else, it’s not without its challenges but that’s a big part of how we learn to nurture our gifts, develop our skills, sharpen our minds and communicate better with each other.
How To Complete Multiple Writing Assignments With Different Composition Styles was first published on ‘Joy within‘ blog