The trick to web writing: White it out
When you sit down to write a web page, what’s your M.O.?
Do you just sit down and write? If you do, you may find yourself getting off topic or stuck trying to get all of the elements on the page to flow.
All I have to say is, “White it out.”
Add a visual, don’t take it away
By “white it out,” I am not referring to the product Wite-Out (or whatever version you use). No, I don’t want you to erase something; I want you to add something.
When I have to write web pages, I turn to my whiteboard. Depending on the project, I may just sketch an outline of one page at a time or I may craft a website’s navigation on the whiteboard.
Many times, it is just the simple act of writing headings for the page. By doing this on the whiteboard, I can visualize which section or topic should go where and how to connect each section. Then, when I start to write, my ideas flow more easily and my writing time is trimmed without sacrificing quality.
Write, sketch, plot – whatever works for you
Personally, I like the whiteboard because it allows me to not only visualize things, but also to easily move things (dry-erase markers rule).
However, you don’t have to use a whiteboard. You can sketch your ideas on a notebook page. You can type it out in Word. You can even use mind mapping software.
Whatever method you choose, the point is to plan. The simple act of outlining your page before you write will make the writing process smoother.
Do you have a method that helps you when planning your page? I’d love to hear it – please share it below in the comments.
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Dot points. Love ’em. I start with broad headings to get my mind on track and then use dot points to make thoughts about the kinds of things I need/want to say and how I could emphasise them in different ways. It’s then a matter of going back to each section and fleshing it out and moving things around so whatever it is I’m writing has rhythm and a nice, easy flow. I find whenever I don’t start like this I’m all over the shop and quickly get frustrated with my inability to get anything done! Thanks for the whiteboard tip Amy, I might invest in one now ;)
Happy to help Shauna! Working on the white board lets me better visualize my page and what I need to say.