People complain that writing takes too much out of them. Editing, not writing, is usually what vexes us. For most of us, myself included, good writing demands heavy editing.
From time to time I’ll show you how I get from first draft to finished product. This post shows how the finished product of a business-planning download ended up (after a verbose and rambling start).
AFTER: What if your business were a season? What season would it be and why? What thrives in this season? Since seasons inevitably change, what changes will mark a change in your business and how can you prepare? For example, if you have a product that the market has forsaken, perhaps you’ll describe your business as winter. There isn’t an unproductive season — bears gestate in winter!
BEFORE: What if your problem were a season? What season would it be? For example, if you have a product that the market has forsaken, perhaps you’ll describe the season as winter, in which case ask yourself “What thrives in the quiet and cold? What life forms can’t survive if the winter is too short or too warm and how can these life forms inspire me to think about this problem?” Perhaps the market for your product is in a period of dormancy and will be ready to spring into life when some key events transpire. Key events you can influence? If not, what can you do during this period of dormancy? Bears are pregnant during their hibernation. Butterflies were once ugly chrysalises. Seasons always change. How would you prepare for the next season? What if the seasons were reversed? For example, if winter would turn to autumn instead of spring. Now answer the questions above again from that position (and invoke the court jester if you can’t get in the groove).
- Sometimes it helps to just write whatever comes to mind as a start
- Drafts are the playground of the right brain — full of possibilities
- Use your left brain to hone and censor the draft