A 2-minute read which will save you hours
Less experienced writers underrate these processes, or they do them in the wrong order!
Don’t – unless you have lots of time to waste.
The bulk of writing isn’t writing. It’s getting hold of the wood and the right axe, and sharpening your tools. It is research and evaluation. It is assembling worthwhile content.
What are you writing? More importantly, what does the reader want?
You’re pleased with your ideas, but what is the best order?
This is often the most neglected part of the process.
Start strongly or lose the reader! If your opening is rubbish, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of the piece is: no one will read it.
Cut anything that is surplus to requirements.
You now have an assortment of compelling ideas and arguments, memorable phrases, perhaps even the odd sentence – and they are strategically sequenced for maximum impact. Now is the time to craft. Now and only now is the time to focus on deploying rhetorical devices, and honing and polishing the prose.
4. WALK AWAY
This is so important. Once you have written the first draft, take a break. The longer the piece, the longer the break.
Let it brew, let it compost, let it marinate. Surrender it over to that magical thing: the subconscious mind.
Sleep on a short-form social media post. Leave the first draft of a 2000+ blog post for a week at least. If you’re writing your breakthrough novel, leave it in a drawer, go on holiday, fall in love, learn to skydive. Above all things, forget about it completely. Return to it fresh and tweak.
5. THE FINAL EDIT
Finally, proofread, and if possible ask for someone else’s feedback.