Annette EltonBy Annette Elton
Operations Manager,

Every once in a while I find clarity eluding me. At those times, the article, report, post or book I’m writing just doesn’t seem to have flow and nothing looks or sounds like I want it to sound. After many years of writing everything from romantic fiction to business courses, I’ve realized fuzzy thinking is caused by a number of things. The good news is, knowing how to recognize fuzzy thinking and sweep it away is the key to writing quickly, and clearly, time after time.

Fuzzy thinking is caused by “the lacks”:

  • Lack of food. It’s not often I forget a meal but if I have a task list a mile long and am feeling under the gun so to speak then food seems to get forgotten or shoved to the bottom of my task list. AND eating junk food, rather than brain food, always creates fuzzy thinking. Eat and eat well!
  • Lack of planning. Sitting down to write something when you don’t have a clear objective will inevitably lead to some pretty fuzzy content. Your points, while they may be good ones, will likely not link together well causing numerous rewrites. Plan what you want to say in advance, even if you simply jot down three to five points to convey in your piece.

Speaking of rewrites…

  • Lack of sleep. Some people need more sleep than others. Personally, I like a good 8-9 hours and that’s when I function best. Though I do envy those who can function well on less sleep! Make sure you’re rested and able to focus before trying to write anything.
  • Lack of confidence. Editing while you write or a lack of confidence which causes you to edit something into nonsense is a sure way to turn a potentially good piece of content into confusion. Write your piece first and write it to completion, then go back and edit it. Have faith and confidence in your writing skills!
  • Lack of time. While it may not take long for you to write an article, being pressed for time can put a crimp on your creativity and clarity.
  • Lack of focus. Multi-tasking is a myth. It just doesn’t work and if you say it works for you, I’m certainly not going to argue the point, but would encourage you to try focusing on one task at a time to compare productivity. Being able to focus single-mindedly on your content will help clear up your thinking, guaranteed.
  • Lack of purpose. Why are you writing your piece? Regardless of what you’re writing, it needs a purpose. Who are you writing to and what do you want them to gain from it? Once you understand this, it’s much easier to get your points across.
  • Lack of blood flow. Sometimes all you need is to get moving. Get some blood flowing through your body. Stretch, jog around the house, dance with the dog (cats hate dancing) or just clean up for a few minutes. Stepping away and organizing your thoughts can do wonders.

If you find you’re suffering from fuzzy thinking, step back for a minute and determine why. Chances are, you’re lacking something. Fix it, give yourself a break, and then get back to writing with clarity and confidence!