Learning how to write non fiction

Remember when you were young and had no concept of failure. You were given a pencil and piece of paper and told to write or draw and you just did. You weren’t concerned with spelling or grammar and you would read it aloud, celebrating what you had just created.

Wow, where did those days go?  Yes I know long ago and far away!

Well my advice about learning how to write non fiction is to just do it.

Just do it!

If you are not sure how to do it, look at your kids or other peoples kids. What one thing do they exhibit?

Fearless enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is the pathway to learning and growth.

So just do it.

Write, allow it all to tumble out, care not for spelling or political correctness or prose that bounces along to tame even the fiercest heart, just write, inhibited and free. Think dancing naked in the rain.

And well you might ask, how do you learn to write?

You will learn to write as you go along. How scary is that? To not know how, but to know that as you write, you will learn by trial and error and through modelling others and by creating your own model.

By writing, reflecting, revising, editing and sharing your work you will learn how to grow as a non fiction writer.

With each writing experience you will get feedback and with that feedback your writing skills will grow and guess what? You will grow as a person, because writing is reflective of your heart and soul as well as the way you structure what you write.

Don’t expect perfection—expect growth.

Tips for learning how to write non fiction

  • Pre write, gather information, do some research, make notes.
  • Think, observe, listen.
  • Ask who are you writing for and why?
  • Write, leave and reflect.
  • Read it aloud to yourself.
  • Connect with your subject and ask if this makes sense.
  • Reflect.
  • Ask questions.
  • Remind yourself of your writing objectves.
  • Edit, reflect.
  • Print it out, cut it up and re-arrange – ask what works?
  • Use coloured pens and mark it up – what you love, what you hate – reflect.
  • Keep, writing and revising
  • Choose a better word – look words up in a thesaurus.
  • Listen for your voice, it’s like your clothe, words represent you, can you hear it, can you see it in your writing. Let your voice be heard.
  • Read aloud to video, listen back, what do you learn?
  • Tune it up, headings, bold, italics, long and short sentences, better words, check for flow.
  • How can others help me to make it better – go on ask!

As you practice, your model for writing will develop. As you try new words, new ways of arranging your words, as you share with others, your way of writing will grow and you will find a new energy in your writing.

The writing process is the heart and soul of your writing, it will differ between people, but essentially it is your way of communicating your message. And when you are guided by purpose and by your reader, your writing will get improve and you will be guided to make better writing decisions.

Think why you are writing and for whom. You will have written the perfect piece when you are sure that the reader gets what you have written and will learn something.

Soon the lumpy process will flow and you will just do it!

Remember: Don’t expect perfection—expect growth.

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