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Writing


Writing: When Do You Just Start Over?

Writing: When Do You Just Start Over?

Step #1 to writing better: Chuck your first draft. Step #2 to writing better: Start over. The next time you write something, at that exact moment when give yourself a figurative pat on the back for “finishing” a first draft, close the document, drag it to the trash bin, and empty the trash. Seriously. Then take a much-deserved break and forget about that piece of writing for awhile. When you’re ready to try again, open a new document with its proverbial clean slate. And start anew: rewrite from scratch. You will soon notice this reality: You won’t be rewriting...
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Everyone’s a Writing Critic: Dealing with Writing Feedback

Everyone’s a Writing Critic: Dealing with Writing Feedback

Everyone’s a Writing Critic: Dealing with Comments and Corrections when Receiving Writing Feedback Writing a solid first draft of something is genuinely difficult. It’s a herculean triumph of creativity and endurance over self-doubt (and procrastination – though the strategies I set forth in the first two posts in this series can make it easier to start writing and plow through to the first draft). Unfortunately, “a solid first draft” is not the same as a finished, publishable piece. You have bosses, reviewers, and editors to deal with before your ultimate audience reads your deathless prose. These folks are going to...
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Editing Your First Draft: How To

Editing Your First Draft: How To

Time For Editing In an earlier post, I wrote about the anxiety that can accompany writing and how you can overcome it with some simple steps designed to jump start your drafting. In this post, I’ll tell you how to get from the first draft to the finish line. The key to this: editing. So you’ve got a first draft. Congratulations. A first draft, no matter how rough, is cause for a minor celebration (coffee, maybe, not Cristal). A break helps you make the mental transition from writing mode to editing mode. Editing is how you get your rough...
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