A science fair project may reveal that almost anyone can write about almost anything quite easily.
For many years I have taught students as well as professionals my methods of getting it down on paper, quickly and in good form. There are a few secrets involved in this unusual system, but I will share them with you. Standing in front of a group of wannabe writers, I asked them what the biggest problem was in their writing. Almost to a man and woman, they answered that they all had troubles getting started. They stared at the blank piece of paper sometimes in mortal fear. They would write a sentence or two and then look at it and decide that it was terrible. They tried again and were unhappy with the content, syntax, plot development, characterizations, and most everything else. Keep all of this in mind if you are going to do a science fair project on the subject.
They tried again and again to get their story going, each time increasingly unhappy with results. Whether they were writing a school paper, a newspaper article, a short story, some advertising copy, a business proposal or anything else. Each time they tried they got more frustrated and fearful that the results were going to be terrible. After a while they began to hate the task in front of them, and their fears of failure made the chore worse and worse.
At this point, I would ask the group just how many of you are able to write poorly? How many of you will be able to write something you dislike? Without failure, everyone in the group would raise their hands in the affirmative. I then lectured that what I wanted from each one of them was to write something bad. Take the subject that you have in mind, and write about it poorly. I told them that I did not care if it was out of order, poorly narrated, out of context, ungrammatical, with unchecked facts, poor choice of words, and just plain bad writing.
Many would laugh as say that it would be a cinch. Any dummy can write bad copy. I would assure them that when they looked at what they had written and decided that it was terrible, that they will have achieved their objectives. Write poorly. Do not worry how bad it is. Just keep on going and continue with your story, or your term paper, or your newspaper article or whatever you have in mind.
And then a strange thing happens. Now we have an entire group of writers who were frustrated and failing at the task just a few moment ago, are now writing furiously, getting their thoughts down on paper. They laugh a lot as they look at their writings, not worrying about the things that worried them a few minutes ago. They are enjoying writing poorly. But even though they may not realize it, they are getting their thoughts down on paper. The hardest part of the writing is being accomplished. Everything that they wanted to say is being said. Admittedly it may not be ready for publication and it needs a lot of editing, but they have broken thru the barrier and the hardest part of the job is done. Now all they have to do is to put the "bad" manuscript away for a day and come back to it later and act as an editor.
It is much easier to edit the copy than to write it. They review the material that they wrote the day before in a dispassionate manner, and calmly make changes, rewrite and in general function as an editor of their own copy. Invariably the result is a well organized, well written piece of copy for the purpose intended. As a science fair project, you can have a group of subjects try this method. You can hypothesize what the results will be and then determine if your experiment works. It will be helpful to enlist the aid of an English teacher to judge the writing of your subjects.
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