You're ready to do it. You've accepted an assignment from your boss, agreed to put together a sales presentation, or were asked to write a report about last week's meeting results. Where do you begin? Before you venture off into land of writing for your job, be prepared with items on this checklist.
1. Adjust your attitude. Writing doesn't have to be like drawing blood. In fact, many times in business writing, much of work is already done for you. Your job may be as simple as rewording or organizing information that you already have.
2. Quiet. No matter how much you like your music or AM radio talk show it is best to work in a quiet spot. Even if you work in a noisy place like a newsroom or a cube farm, reduce amount of noise around you so you can concentrate better. Wear earplugs if it helps you!
3. Your thinking cap! Colored markers, pencils, or a large easel pad may help you with brainstorming. Or, you may find it easier to work with a team first to generate ideas and then have one person write first draft. Whatever works for you, make sure your brain is in creative mode, not editing/criticism mode. Creativity comes first; editing and refining later.
4. Eliminate distractions.
Turn off phone, close your office door, and don't check your email every 10 seconds. Have your assistant tell everyone you're in a meeting and you can't see him or her unless they're dying. For at least 1 hour, work with no interruptions.
5. Computer, pen, scratchpad, or other tools you like.
You may prefer writing longhand; it can help you connect with your thoughts and emotions. Or, you may be quicker at typing directly on computer. Either way, don't expect a perfect draft first time. You will be scribbling a lot (or cutting and pasting) at first.
6. Contact names and phone numbers, etc.
Be sure you have handy a list of people you might need to talk with to verify information. For example, if you are writing an article for your company newsletter, you may need quotes from CEO.