Practice organizing your writing. Before starting your written response allow 2-5 minutes to make an outline of your essay. Do not worry that the time is running, a good outline will save you lots of troubles and time while writing. The essay outline should include the major ideas for the paragraphs in 2-3 main phrases per paragraph, as well as some examples and supporting details. Do not write complete sentences, but some words and phrases that may help you follow that outline and add additional information to develop a well-organized and coherent essay.
I am only at Tip #2 and can already feel my “inner writer” coming back to life. I’ve been torturing myself for so long — many new ideas and perspectives to share and nothing but dread at the thought of the actual writing. I was always such a “good student”, and by the time I finished grad school I no longer enjoyed either reading or writing. Pretty sad statement, even sadder that the ill effects have lasted three decades.
The only writing advice I’ve read so far basically boils down to: it’s work, you just have to do it, set aside a specific time and force yourself…. all about as appealing as my mother’s shoe leather lamb chops. I can’t thank you enough for your approach. I think it’s going to work for me, and just know I am immensely grateful beyond what words can express. Yes!