How to solve your most difficult writing problems

Every writer faces problems. In the most recent  I'll help you figure out solutions.

Much of the advice I'll give will derive from my book, "Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces," which just came out in paperback. The book completes (with "Writing Tools" and "The Glamour of Grammar") a trilogy of guidebooks on how writers and readers create meaning.

In each of these books, I take a slightly different approach to the process of writing. "Help! For Writers" focuses on common problems and tested solutions. It breaks the process down into seven steps: Getting started, getting your act together, finding focus, looking for language, building a draft, assessing your progress and making it better.

For each of these seven steps, "Help!" identifies three of the thorniest problems. For example, the problems of "getting started" include having no ideas, getting bad assignments and being buried in your research. For each problem, "Help!" offers 10 solutions. Do the math: seven steps times three problems times 10 solutions equals 210 solutions.

During the chat, we addressed chat participants' problems and offered steps and solutions. You can replay the chat here:

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    Roy Peter Clark

    Roy Peter Clark has taught writing at Poynter to students of all ages since 1979. He has served the Institute as its first full-time faculty member, dean, vice-president, and senior scholar.


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