We may each approach writing in our unique ways, but no matter what, some logical thinking needs to be behind the final product.
This applies even to “artistic” things like choosing a photo for an article, or designing a logo.
You might start off a formal paper or article by scratching out a rough outline or jotting down a list of what you want to touch upon.
Or you might prefer a more free-flow approach, where you just start typing and see what comes out.
Regardless of whether you start with the structure already in mind or the document grows organically, you still need to go back at some point and think through the logic of the piece.
What to ask yourself
Here are some things you might ask yourself when you’re reviewing your work:
- What is my main point? What is my message? Do they come across clearly?
- Does the order of ideas make sense? Does it flow?
- Are there any gaping contradictions or holes? (That may be OK but should be explicitly acknowledged in the writing itself. Otherwise, it detracts from your message.)
- Is there anything I can cut out (because it’s distracting or not so important or confusing)?
As you ask yourself these questions, go ahead and reshuffle your content. Group ideas together. Fill in the gaps.
Sometimes you may find that your main point has wandered from the original intent. That “wandering” might be a sign that you didn’t have enough material to make the original point, in which case you might want to drop it.
Read through it again.
If you can, set the article aside for a while—give the idea a chance to ripen. (Or throw it out as an unfeasible idea.)
No matter your writing style or approach to writing, the point is to be aware that taking a step back and reviewing your work will improve your final product.
(And in fact, that’s what editors like myself are here for too!)
Need help with organizing your ideas in your writing? Let me help you!