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Fortunately, Arlov uses pithy clichés only as a starting point to offering real advice on how even beginning writers can improve their writing skills by practicing some simple techniques. These techniques, once learned, also serve as handy tools for the amateur or professional writer to help break the symptoms of writer’s block when it occurs. The basic process advocated by Arlov involves a simple, step-by-step process to writing as well as attention to the five ‘Quick Takes’ she offers regarding this process.
The ‘Quick Takes’ offered by Arlov include taking things one step at a time, taking writing seriously, taking it easy, taking it to the limit and taking it with you. Examining these ‘takes’ in backward sequence, taking it with you indicates that an individual who wishes to improve their writing skills should not consider writing to be an occasional activity, only embarked upon when a teacher or supervisor requires it, but should instead be a regular lifetime activity. The more writing one undertakes, the easier the practice will become. Also, by writing often about a variety of topics taken from real life, a writer can find an interesting story or topic to write about in another context. “Sometimes we are so busy looking for something that we don’t realize the answer has been right there in front of us all along” (Bailey, 2006). Journal writing, for instance, provides room for practice writing, building self-confidence, even as it allows space for some forms of prewriting when preparing to write something more public. This ‘quick take’ should also remind one that writing should not be considered a relatively ‘dead’ practice, done only when exploring topics that are somehow removed from the rest of the world. Writing becomes more interesting when one is involved in the topic in some way. In addition, when one explores a topic in the real world, this interest can be
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