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How To Find The Right Words

Sometimes it’s hard to explain exactly how you feel. This handy vocabulary wheel helps you narrow down exactly what word best expresses your current emotional state.

Whether you’re writing or talking about a character, another person, or yourself, it can be easy to use the same words over and over. This wheel diagram from English teacher Kaitlin Robbs helps you find the right word for the right feeling from the inside out. Start out with a basic emotion and then move outward until you have the best synonym for the job. The wheel itself isn’t exactly groundbreaking in the world of vocabulary, but it’s a nice reference for those that have a hard time being specific about how they or others feel.

Six Ways to Instantly Find the Right Words

 

Have you ever known what you want to say, but just can’t figure out how to say it? It’s certainly worth the extra effort to get it right, because the how will make the difference in the way your what is received and acted upon.

Some people are never short of words. Personally, I have good days and bad. Yet there are definitely ways to to get yourself out of the ditch when it comes to finding the right words and getting started.

Here are my tips for producing great copy even when your brain is not cooperating.

Do You Have a Point?

Before you write, you need to know what you’re going to say. Are you struggling because you don’t have a clear idea of the point you’re trying to make?

Start in the Middle

If getting starting is your problem, you might find it easier to begin with the “meat” of your article. Come back later to craft a killer headline and introduction. Again, this works because you are focusing on your point rather than your presentation. Sometimes this helps you later find an appetizing wrapper for the main dish.

Walk it Off

Maybe you just need a break. Walk away, do something else. Rest your brain. Come back refreshed and ready to go. Some of the greatest ideas in history have been arrived at on a zen-like stroll.

Email a Friend

At times we get brain cramp because we are trying too hard. Start writing an email with what you want to say as an informal quickie to a close friend. You could even start it as “I am trying to write this article about…”

Say it Out Loud

Just like writing an email could unlock your writing circuits, imagine you have a friend sitting there asking what you are writing about. What would you say?

This even works with inanimate or uninterested objects and pets. Because you have to make sense of a problem in your own mind in order to explain it to someone else you do not even need a reply, just to articulate it. The best name for this I have heard is Rubberducking.

Dump It and Edit

In most cases it is harder to get “something” written than it is to polish, so just try to dump the basics out of your head and onto paper and work on perfecting it later.

Summary

While some people seem to be able to channel Hemingway and write perfect prose on demand, the rest of us mere mortals have to work within the limitations of our imperfect grey matter. Hopefully these simple tips will help you next time you are in a fix.

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