How to write a really good text with the 3-phase model

By Stefanie Heiserowski

Most people have high expectations when writing texts: they have a topic, start writing and then expect their text to be done (and be good). What often happens, however, is that they put off writing, fiddle with their text here and there, and don’t know what they actually want to say. The result is frustration, dissatisfaction and the bad feeling of being unable to write.

Consequently, many people build up writer’s block and each new text is postponed for weeks instead of getting started. May I tell you a secret? Only very few people succeed in writing a perfect text right away. Professional copywriters, trained journalists or gifted writers manage it (sometimes, not always!).


The solution: A writing process with 3 phases

  1. research and planning of the text
  2. rough draft
  3. revising

Each phase is important and takes about a third of the total time. The good: you’ll save time in the end and the text will be better. That’s a promise!

Research and planning: Find the common thread
The first phase concerns planning the content and a coherent structure: What absolutely has to be in the text? What does a common thread look like? What is the goal of my text? Who will read the text? What should the message be? What do I want my readers to take away? Give this enough thought and write it down.

Rough draft: Let the thoughts out
In the second phase you write. And that’s all. The goal is not to get a perfect, flawless text down on paper. Nobody can do that. Let it go. The goal is to let your thoughts flow – to be creative. What kills your creativity is to revise in the meantime, criticize yourself and pause again and again because you “quickly” change the sentence, exchange a word, or eliminate a typo. If you find it difficult to mute your inner critic, set the font color to white and write white on white. That way, you won’t see what you’re writing and can focus entirely on formulating your thoughts.

Revise: Grind your rough diamond
Only in phase 3 do you look at what you have actually written. You organize it, add here and there, and rewrite a sentence. You check whether you are satisfied with the content of your text and only then how you like it linguistically. This is where your critical and analytical self can come out and help you polish your rough diamond. Important: Let the text rest for at least one night before revising it. This way you can look at the result more objectively and not get stuck on the laboriously written formulations. Finally, read the text aloud to yourself. This way you will find the very last stumbling blocks.

Conclusion

By spending more time planning and revising your text and less on writing, you will benefit several times over:

  • You save time overall because you are focused on writing a well-thought-out text.
  • You get started because you “only” deal with the structure and follow a clearly defined process.
  • The structure is understandable because you have thought about the content beforehand.
  • The thoughts have depth and novelty because you have given free rein to your creativity during the rough draft process.
  • Your text will be better because you take enough time to revise it.


When will you try it? Tell me about your experience by emailing stefanie@schoen-gold.com

By working with what you bring with you. We’ll start from where you are. You don’t have to bend or torture yourself. I am in a good mood, have a good dose of motivation and have a lot of structure. I have solid tips, cool tools and lots of tricks on how to take your writing expertise to the next level. Even if you don’t have a talent for writing. I say: Writing isn’t rocket science, it’s a craft! Anyone can learn this. Check out my website for more information: https://www.schoen-gold.com/


Vocabulary

  1. Put off: postpone something.
  2. Writer’s block: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.
  3. Common thread: The thread of an argument, a story, or a situation is an aspect of it that connects all the different parts together.
  4. Typo: a typographical error.
  5. Stuck: unable to move from a particular position or place
  6. Free rein: freedom of action or expression.

Discussion Questions

  1. How often do you write at work?
  2. What types of texts do you write?
  3. What do you do when you experience writer’s block?
  4. What are some benefits of becoming a better writer?

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