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I Am a Writer (Technical Writing Exercise)

This week, I’m going to call on you to start a blog. If you’re here at all, you realize that you’re a writer. Maybe not a prolific novelist, maybe not even a willing emailer, but it’s your lot in life to do some writing from time to time.

Unstressed Syllables is all about helping you get better at that, but all our writing advice can’t do much unless you put it into practice. That’s why I provide a weekly writing exercise, to get you writing something low-impact that will help you think like a writer.

That’s the benefit you get from blogging, too, but I’ll save that sales pitch for tomorrow’s post. For now, I want you to focus on the writing you do.

Think about your writing education.

  • How did you respond to your English classes in school?
  • What’s the most recent class you’ve taken that was focused directly on writing?
  • What are your weaknesses?

Think about your process.

  • When you’ve got a document you need to work on, how do you approach it?
  • Do you start with prewriting?
  • Do you put it off to the last minute?
  • Do you research relevant topics?

Think about all the ways you have to write in your daily life.

  • Do you write emails to friends and family?
  • Do you write emails for work?
  • Do you write business letters for official purposes?
  • Do you post to any sort of social media (whether that’s Twitter, Facebook status updates, or a private blog)?
  • Do you do any other creative or hobby writing?
  • What do you enjoy about writing? What do you do well?
  • What projects are you working on at the moment?

Write up a short autobiography of you as a writer (300-900 words). Make it three sections, with appropriate headings, and generally answer the questions above. Tell us where you’re coming from, so we can better help you get where you need to be. If you want to be smart about it, you can also write this up to use as your first blog post! At the very least, share it with us on the discussion board.

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