Writing with Clarity

L. Michelle BakerL. Michelle Baker, Ph.D.
441 Walina Street, Apt. 703
Honolulu, HI 96815
304 283 4573
michelle@conservationwritingpro.com
Author: Writing in the Environmental Sciences: A Seven-Step Guide

“I feel that my goals were met. I wanted to be more confident, comfortable, and efficient with writing, and I feel that I have several new ideas and exercises that will help me be more confident.  I also feel that I have learned about several new resources that will help me be more efficient in my writing.” Emily Granstaff, Cookeville, TN

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.

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.

“Yes, one of my goals is to improve my writing and the course has helped. Another goal of mine is improving the flow or organization of the document or manuscript. The course has definitely improved that process.” Pete Ramirez, Cheyenne, WY

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.

“I wish I would have Writing for Clarity when I was in college, it would have helped me so much in my career! Dr. Baker does a great job in giving participants new ways to be better writers and make the process flow easier.” Laurie Heupel, Shepherdstown, West Virginia

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 will allow 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.

(Download a course Syllabus)

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“My brain now sees ways where I can sharpen up my communication and how I can deliver a more direct message to my readers.” Brittany Struck, Long Beach, CA