Writing with Clarity

When I ask my clients about their writing process, the most common description I hear is “it takes me a while to get started, but once I figure out what to say, I’m pretty good.” Unfortunately that is not a viable strategy for managing long-term, lengthy, or complex projects. And the notion that one day you’re going to get a large block of time to gather your thoughts quietly, alone in a conference room, free from distractions is unrealistic. You need a plan that will allow you to tackle any writing project at any time of day in small, focused stages.

“I am a biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and I recently took the Writing with Clarity class.  I can’t say enough good things about Michelle and the class.  Michelle is supportive, encouraging and extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of the writing cycle.  I went into the class feeling frustrated and discouraged with the writing process, but I learned tools and strategies that make the process manageable and maybe even fun! I now feel stronger and more confident in my writing skills which will help me throughout my professional career.  I highly recommend this class, particularly under Michelle’s guidance, to anyone who is tasked with writing documents and reports as part of their profession.”  Maureen Kavanagh, Vancouver, WA

Most of us are so anxious to produce something that resembles a finished product, we start generating sentences and paragraphs before we even know what we want to say. When we do so, we create conflict between the creative, problem-solving, idea-discovering right side of our brain, and the logical, analytical, language-using left side of our brain. That’s why we feel stuck. We’re pitting the two halves of our brain against one another.

And that’s exactly where the solution resides: in allowing each side of our brain to work independently without interference or judgment, in a process known as the Writing Cycle.

“I would recommend the course to anyone who is in the early stages of a large writing project. It is helpful to directly apply all of the tools the course provides and commit them to practice right away. Having a great, readily available instructor and practical, efficient tools to help realize writing potential make this course a real asset to effective, meaningful writing.” Pete Barlow, Arlington, VA  

Even understanding that there is a process to writing can be a revelation for many subject matter experts. Imagine having a blueprint that will walk you through every phase of your next writing project with Excel spreadsheets, charts, diagrams, and thought-provoking exercise. What would change for you? Would you feel less anxiety, a greater sense of context, take more satisfaction in your work?

By focusing deeply on one phase of the writing cycle at a time, teasing out several strategies to manage each, you’ll build an invaluable toolkit for the one skill that will either ensure your success or perpetuate your stagnation. This type of radical focus will greatly improve both your efficiency and your confidence, so you can walk away from your desk each day with a clear sense of what you’ve accomplished and what remains to be done. That type of closure is exactly what you’ve been searching for; these are the processes that will lead you there.

Course Objectives:

  1. Start writing with a sense of purpose in harmony with your agency’s mission statement and the specific needs of the document and its audiences.
  1. Have the confidence to approach any stage of the writing process with a set of tools that allows effective, efficient completion of the task.
  1. Write documents that are logically organized and well developed, with precise diction, strong topic sentences, and clear transitions.
  1. Work successfully with reviewers to move a document through the chain of approval to successful publication.

Writing with Clarity: Syllabus

NOTE: This class is traditionally offered online, but an onsite option is also available.

For pricing and availability, please contact:

Michelle Baker, the Conservation Writing Pro–teaching, writing, and editing so environmental scientists can communicate more clearly!

L. Michelle Baker, Ph.D.
441 Walina Street, Apt. 804
Honolulu, HI 96815
304 283 4573
Author: Writing in the Environmental Sciences: A Seven-Step Guide