Fear of writing is to be expected when you are a non-writer who is suddenly tasked to write a user document for the company’s latest product. You would probably feel blindsided and being thrown into the unknown would make you anxious. This anxiety, some bad writing experiences in the past, as well as the pressure to do a good job could fuel your fear of writing even more.
This fear would just give you a blank computer screen and a major writer’s block, not to mention a large amount of stress. The good news is that overcoming your anxieties is easier than you think. Continue reading this article. Find out how you could get past it so you could start writing good quality user documents.
Get over your fear of writing by understanding what you are supposed to write
Most anxieties come from either not knowing what lies ahead or from past experiences. So, the first step to overcome your fear of writing is by understanding what you are supposed to do when writing a user document. Familiarize yourself with the structure of a user document and you would find out that it is different and way easier to write than other writing styles. You would notice how the entire user document is divided into different components dealing with specific topics, with each part having a defined outline. Having such structure would make your writing easier and it would feel more like fill in the blanks than writing from scratch. Remember that the readers just want clear information and easy to follow instructions about the product. They are not there to criticize you for your creativity or wit. The simpler your material is, the better. By keeping these in mind, your fear of writing would diminish.
Having the necessary resources would eliminate your fear of writing
You would need certain resources to help you write a user document. Once you have equipped yourself with the following resources, getting over it would be so much easier.
- An editor. First off, your editor is not your critic, nor would he or she grade your work. The editor’s role is to help you out with any writing difficulties you might encounter and to ease away your fear of writing.
- Information access. The one who assigned the writing task to you should give you access to all the information about the product including its developers, users, marketing and other details you would need to complete your user documentation. Having all the information you need would help reduce your fear of writing.
- Time and technological resources. You would need a decent word processor that has basic functions and features that could help you write and edit your material. You would also need to allot some time to get your writing done, so learn to manage your time well.
- Additional guidance. Taking a writing course may be counterproductive when you are already writing the material. Instead, you could search up guides and tips online to help you with your writing.
Establish a writing method
If it’s your first time writing a user document, you might feel anxious that your finished material would be rejected at the end. This anticipation for failure would just add to your fear of writing. What you could do is to have a structured writing method. Write the document one component at a time. After writing each component, have your editor and other reviewers look at it then revise it according to their comments before moving on to the next part. By doing this, you would be able to identify and correct errors early on, reducing the stress that you might feel as you finish your material.
Dealing with constructive criticism
If you are prideful and you have issues with criticisms, then your fear of writing will never go away. Having your work reviewed and criticized is part of writing a user document. Try to listen and consider other people’s comments and suggestions. Accept your errors and correct them accordingly. Criticisms, if viewed positively, would help you grow and improve as a technical writer.
By following these tips, you would feel your fear of writing peter out slowly. Do not strive for writing the perfect material right away. Learn the process of writing a user document and familiarize yourself with them, and before you know it, writing the material is like second nature to you.