View Full Version : Writing Tips Plz?


rombow
03-22-09, 10:12 PM
Ok Im in my 2nd semester, and im in English 91, again. I failed it because i cant sit there and write. Its like i got a writing phobia. It hards. I first blamed it on the A.D.D. From my observation, I always had a problems with writing when i was small, I didnt like writing, but i did it, i think it took me like probably an hour or 30 mins to write a paragraph.Now since i have Add, it take me like about 2 or more hours to write like one puckin paragraph when im alone. Sometimes I never even do it. Sometimes i write quicker than that, but only when im underpressure.

I feel it has sometimes to do with my social phobia.

So I want some tips on how i can improve writing. I was kind of thinking of adding numbers or some type of music stuff in my writing. But I dont know.

What I Do Know is, I dont want to put the blame on A.D.D.

P.S If I Dont make it sense, just ask me. I normally puck up on writing, Remember writing is my issue.

kettish
03-22-09, 11:41 PM
Are you having problems actually formulating the ideas themselves, the sentences, or getting them from your head onto the paper? Or is it just that the paragraphs don't make sense or aren't well written?

Addr68
03-23-09, 01:28 AM
Hey rombow,

When I was in College, I had the same issues with writing. I feel your frustration and see your detirmination to overcome it. That is very positive!

My frustration was outlining my paper.

The very first step I did was my research; understanding the subject of the paper.

Then I would ask myself, what is the Professor "looking for" in the paper?



What helped me was to to brain storm my thoughts on the topic; just writing out my thoughts, in no certain order.."Getting my fragmented thoughts out"

Then I would collect what I brain stormed and place them in "bubbles".

I would then draw lines connecting these "bubbles".
This helped me see the points and now, my thoughts are starting to make since.

I found this method helped me greatly to know which points to keep and which of the points would come first, second etc..

Sometimes I knew from the beginning the Title of my paper, other times, the Title "surfaced" from using this "bubble method'

All depends on your style.

*Brain storm..connect your thoughts...rough draft..profread, final draft..profread again..done. :)

Title
Intro
Points (with transitions)-good way to tie your points together :)
Conclusion

I hope this helps! I wish you all the best with your studies rombow! Kudos!

Bry

rombow
03-23-09, 04:09 PM
Are you having problems actually formulating the ideas themselves, the sentences, or getting them from your head onto the paper? Or is it just that the paragraphs don't make sense or aren't well written?

Hmmm im having problems getting my thoughts on papers, and ideas. its like the writing and speaking are two brains. I can speak using bigs word and making senses, good sentence etc. but than when i write, sometimes i have a hard time making sense, coming up with something or sticking to the title.

addr68, ill take your advise. I dont think that it'll work, but ill try.

Dizfriz
03-23-09, 04:52 PM
One trick that may have been designed for ADHDers but in any case works well.

When you are ready to write, put your ideas down any way you can. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, sequence, whatever; just get the ideas down. Brainstorm if you would want to call it that. Then, when you have done this, start organizing them. It is much easier organizing what you have put down and can see than trying to organize in your head then put it in a coherent form: recipe for writer's block. I find it much easier to express what I want to say when I put down whatever comes to my mind of the subject.

Aren't word processors wonderful?

I have used this for years and it got me through grad school. I received a number of complements on my writing, the professors having little idea that I started with a totally jumbled mismash of ideas, thoughts and whatever I could put down.

This will not work for all naturally but it could help. Over the years, I have learned that a lot of people work in this format. Just for what it is worth.

Dizfriz

ginniebean
03-23-09, 07:39 PM
For me the difficulty was getting my thoughts out coherently. I'd start with the first sentence and get stuck. I finally found that if I just typed as fast as I could every thought I had , in jumbled order I could get a lot out. Don't stop and think about coherency, get out the areas you want to cover. Every last little thought, some would be so shorthanded I'd forget them.

After I had free wrote for 20-30 minutes, I'd start cutting and pasting it into a more organized format. Putting thoughts that I thought should go first, followed by others. Slowly it started coming together, and then I'd add in a thought here, move a paragraph there, and edit edit edit. After an hour or so of doing this I had a completed paper.

Maybe try it out, if it works for you cool, if not, you've lost 30 minutes of your time.

Driver
03-23-09, 08:36 PM
The whole thoughts --> words process is a difficult one for ADD'ers. I think it's related to anxiety; I find I'm better when medicated.

rombow
03-28-09, 12:29 PM
I think so too Driver. This is why im trying to deal with my anxiety.

TygerSan
03-30-09, 06:17 PM
When you are ready to write, put your ideas down any way you can. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, sequence, whatever; just get the ideas down. Brainstorm if you would want to call it that. Then, when you have done this, start organizing them. It is much easier organizing what you have put down and can see than trying to organize in your head then put it in a coherent form: recipe for writer's block. I find it much easier to express what I want to say when I put down whatever comes to my mind of the subject.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who writes like that! I had no idea that this was suggested for Adhder's either. All I know is that when we had to write essays in English class, they always made us start with our outlines and examples first, and I'd always cheat and write the essay first, then do the outline.

Something else I tend to do (works b/c my memory is pretty good), is just go over things again and again in my mind (even better if you have someone you can discuss your topic with) until something semi-coherent springs to mind. Even then, I still have a hell of a time starting to write, which probably has to do with my perfectionist tendancies (yes, a form of anxiety in my case) .

I think also a lot of times I get tripped up in the mechanics of writing (should this sentence go here? What word should I use?) and lose sight of the big picture. Just getting every idea out on paper can help tremendously. . .

Now for longer documents (like my thesis) I had to have some form of external structure to break down the bigger pieces into littler ones, but again I tend to start in the middle and then figure out where I'm going. I also love typing b/c I can close my eyes and just *go* (though even then, my mind tends to go 100 X faster than my fingers).

TygerSan
03-30-09, 06:22 PM
Hmmm im having problems getting my thoughts on papers, and ideas. its like the writing and speaking are two brains. I can speak using bigs word and making senses, good sentence etc. but than when i write, sometimes i have a hard time making sense, coming up with something or sticking to the title.

This is why I like discussing my topic with other people before writing. I find it much more natural to speak about the topic than to write. I've often wanted to actually record my discussion sessions for later use, but never have really had a chance to try it.

In my case, I think part of the difference btw speaking and writing is the formality of the situation. When speaking, the goal is to get ideas out coherently and quickly, whereas in writing we're supposed to be somewhat more thoughtful about things, and that thoughtfulness leads to paralysis.

And I'm amused by your statement about sticking to your title. Everyone writes differently, but the title is always the last thing I write . . . and I suck at writing them too.

FinallyAnswered
03-30-09, 07:02 PM
Ok Im in my 2nd semester, and im in English 91, again. I failed it because i cant sit there and write. Its like i got a writing phobia. It hards. I first blamed it on the A.D.D. From my observation, I always had a problems with writing when i was small, I didnt like writing, but i did it, i think it took me like probably an hour or 30 mins to write a paragraph.Now since i have Add, it take me like about 2 or more hours to write like one puckin paragraph when im alone. Sometimes I never even do it. Sometimes i write quicker than that, but only when im underpressure.

I feel it has sometimes to do with my social phobia.

So I want some tips on how i can improve writing. I was kind of thinking of adding numbers or some type of music stuff in my writing. But I dont know.

What I Do Know is, I dont want to put the blame on A.D.D.

P.S If I Dont make it sense, just ask me. I normally puck up on writing, Remember writing is my issue.


First, I really like ADDR's idea of "Bubbles"......I never thought of that. That's a great idea......

Now, since we connected on the "music recording" thread, here's another idea using that technology......

Since we all can think faster than we type, maybe you can incorporate the recording software, a microphone, and my idea into more effectively getting your thoughts down in type.

Instead of sitting at the PC trying to type your thoughts and then getting lost, perhaps you should try recording your thoughts through voice and the recording software and THEN doing the old "dictation" thing afterward. Your thoughts will be recorded as you think them and you won't miss a beat playing them back later on and just typing what you had recorded.

You can even incorporate ADDR's "bubble" idea by recording fragmented thoughts, typing them into "bubbles", and then putting the puzzle together later on.

Just a plan......

"I didn't discover anything....I only saw the light because I stood upon the shoulders of the giants who came before me...."

Good luck!

RedHairedWitch
03-30-09, 08:25 PM
I also write in "bits and bites" and in no proper order, then cut and paste it into some semblance of order before doing a go-over and fixing it up.
I happen to know there are more than a few well respected authors who write this way *wink*

rd_wnc
10-15-09, 10:26 AM
Many many good ideas here so my only suggestion is to try them all and find what works for YOU.

It took me years to realize that I have to work in small bits and then go over it several times (again in small bursts of time). I'm also WAY better in the morning than afternoon or evening so when I really need to write I do it early.

Everyone is different and you just have to fish around to find the combination that works. Procrastination is the worst enemy but an easy one to fall prey to.

joklem
10-15-09, 10:49 AM
Yep. Write everything that comes to mind, and sort 'em out later.

hceuterpe
10-15-09, 02:41 PM
After reading your first post, phew...
I had the chance somewhere to analyze a topic about how there is a phenomenon among the younger generations (Gen-Y and beyond) that some debilitating factor is inhibiting the level of prose in formal writing.
Personally, I think it's due to informal communication mediums such as that found on the internet and texting. I often read texts which sound more like fleeting random thoughts than actual communicable speech.
Now I can understand why our current teens and even college students manage to incorporate shorthand, txt-like writing when it should be informal. However for who those of us who already have problems with organization, distractions, and having a tendency to think random thoughts, it's understandable that we may have disorganized writing, poor grammar, bad spelling and poor overall readability more so than the average person. Do you find yourself writing informally often? I'm almost certain you do. I would say the first thing you can do to combat poor writing, is to always write as if you are formally. I've actually had some people comment about how I never write informally, or that I've shot a text message that had to be sent in 3 seperate text messages. However, I do this deliberately. This is something to possibly consider--simply based on the way you wrote your post. Otherwise:


If you find you have a very disorganized thought pattern, and in general find it difficult prove your theses, you may want to try another approach to your writing habits. I suspect when you start on a paper, you jot down a mountain of ideas on your word processor, try to formalize it and re-organize, proof read a bit and turn it in. If this is true, you may want to try another tactic, such as jotting down ideas in post-it notes, stick 'em on a wall and visually orient them so you can see it, and move them around. This is a common technique. I see it quite often in the professional world when I'm in the given situation that could merit it.
When you have a clearer picture of what you are going to write about, then start your final piece. Continuously re-read what you have written to confirm you are still on topic and that what you wrote is effective. Also reference a thesaurus and dictionary, often. I do that even when I'm posting here.
You probably won't have to do this technique permanently and it's not always feasible in a time crunch, however I didn't become a better writer until I developed positive writing habits, something you may need to work on. This all will help you if you have time....

One thing I noticed is you mentioned "English 91", along with some fragmented thoughts in your post. I mean to be the utmost sincere, and I certainly do not want to sound pejorative, but I have no idea what that is. I find that if I pretend I am working to explain a topic in my writing in a manner to direct it to essentially someone who learned English 2 days ago, I will be much more succinct and concise. Now, granted this is extreme to prove my point, but don't assume and write as if your reader already understands everything you are trying to prove. If you did, you wouldn't need to write it! I have my suspicisions that you get grades on your papers that generally claim you do not relate and explain certain topics sufficiently, or that possibly you draw assertions, or conclusions immediately, yet out of the blue. That has to be at the end with a summary-like conclusion:) Also, writing that contains seemingly disjointed thoughts is very hard for the reader to understand. Definitely something to work on. Asking someone to proof read your material will definitely help you with this, especially if they are not in your class and aren't expected to understand the material at the same level you are expected to.

Bearing that in mind, I will draw some assumptions otherwise to cover more scenarios for your class: I suspect you may be at the other end of the spectrum where you are time and resourced limited--ie you must write in class on paper. In the real world, you aren't actually constrained to writing about something, on a specific medium, at a specific place within a short time frame. I certainly can ask for accomodation in my workplace, and often I do. There's no reason why you can't either in college. If you discover you can perform better writing in a particular manner, it is definitely reasonable to request accomodation for that class. If an instructor notices you perform better once granted it, and assuming he or she is made aware that it is worthwhile and is not favoritism, they probably won't be as concerned. Accomodation isn't favortism. Rather, providing it to someone ADHD is in fact removing their disadvantage!

Finally, I will say that it is ill-advised to refuse to admit you have ADHD and that you are better than your condition. You don't explicitly say this, but you sound as if you are doing this. Don't blame the condition, because then you'll blame it and use it as a scapegoat. However, admitting you have issues because ADHD and learning to cope will help you immensely. You better admit to the fact that you will likely always take longer to express your thoughts in writing. I still do. However, what you need to do and more importantly what you can do is to assess your strengths and weaknesses to find ways, often unconventional ways to be effective in your task at hand.

Hope this helps...

ex_cearulo
10-29-09, 07:00 PM
Here's what works for me:

Outline your paper. Don't try to write it yet, just write down what you will write about in point form. Re-arrange those points so that they will work in the order or format you want (e.g. for an essay, or prose).

Here's an example for a 500-1000 word college/uni argumentative essay:



intro - what your topic is
into - why it's worth an essay/study
thesis statement
the problems to be surmounted - or arguments against your thesis which will be discussed - at least part of this will be your first paragraph.
the thought/argument that will be the theme of a paragraph (will need 3 of these for a 500 word essay)
conclusion - essentially a reiteration/recapping of the thesis and how each of your paragraph topics proves the thesis

Now take each of those points and under those points add the points you'll need to flesh it out.
Join the points that need to be joined and flesh it out into proper paragraphs.
Keep filling it in, and you'll have an argumentative essay.


Essentially, you break up your problem into smaller problems and focus on each, one step at a time. Define your task, break down your task, stay on your tasks. I find it's easier this way (but no, not really easy).