Friday, May 22, 2009

Why Rough Drafts Matter

Just write it already! Don’t worry, I’m not yelling at you. It’s just that I was fumbling over what to write for you just now. My ideas were there, but I hesitated when I began to type.

So then I checked my email, …long pause, surfed the internet, …another pause, though this one was a bit shorter, and finally I thought to myself, “Just write it already!”

It happens. We get the ideas, but we don’t know how to express them clearly. I suppose it’s better than writing the words, without any passion or ideas to support them.

My next tip for you is to write down your ideas, even if they don’t make sense. Get them out, and rearrange your words later. Rough drafts are imperfect by design, and they are the foundation of what’s to come.

Don’t underestimate the value of a good rough draft. It will have scattered thoughts, notes in the margins, scratches and scribbles that you can hardly read, and maybe even a few coffee stains.

More importantly though, your rough draft will have the original intention and tone of what should become your final article. It will have the substance before it goes through the editorial process, where it may lose some of its luster, while hopefully keeping your message.