A Horror Story
Your stomach clenches, your pulse quickens, and a fine sweat beads your brow. You are facing your greatest fear.
The blank page.
You have completed your experiments. You’ve got the outcome you want. You have a story to tell the world. It just needs to be written up, and you don’t know where to start.
The really important thing is just to start.
I have often started writing my papers by writing all sorts of gibberish on the page. I might begin to write a paper like this,
“You see, the thing we did was to brilliantly make a way to predict the retention times of target compounds.”
Now, the beginning of that line is rubbish. But the end of the line is becoming something like what I would want in the final paper.
Sometimes once I start writing, beautiful sentences form in my brain and I can write them down. Sometimes the rubbish lasts a lot longer.
But I can always go back and fix the rubbish later.
There is a saying in writing circles, “You can’t edit a blank page.”
If we turn it around we can say that you can edit any writing that you do. The important thing is to do the writing.
Write what you did in a way that makes sense to you.
Then after you’ve written what you did in your research, you can change the sentences so that they sound more professional and you can make sure that they make sense to a stranger reading the text.
The first thing is to fill up that blank page. And only you can do that. But once there are words on the page – any words at all – I promise that the work will become less intimidating and you are well on your way to an excellent professional paper.
And remember you can always submit your paper here at fixmyenglish.com.au for editing to make sure that it's the best it can be.