Daphne Gray-Grant, formerly a senior editor at a large, metropolitan newspaper, now head of Gray-Grant Communications, certainly has. Luckily, she devised a process to make it a lot easier to get that cursor moving. And though some observers have said her tips seem to work only for fiction or narrative storytelling, Gray-Grant said it’s effective for corporate communications, too.
What writers have to do, she told an audience at Ragan Communications’ Corporate Writers and Editors Conference in New York City, is overcome the following five roadblocks to effective and fast writing:
1. Not outlining
A lot of writers simply don’t outline anything because their brains are sort of at odds with themselves. You have what Gray-Grant calls the editing part of the brain, which is logical and linear, and the writing part, which is creative and innovative.
“I like to think about the different parts of the brain as passengers in a car,” she says. “Only one person can drive.”
Most people think of outlines as having to be static and rigid, but they don’t have to be, Gray-Grant said. She recommends something called “mind-mapping.”