Skill Booster

Long at First, Short at Last

The best writers are really good editors.

Just like potters, good writers give themselves a lot to work with.

Imagine trying to make a vase with just a thimbleful of clay. It would be one teeny, tiny vase!

Now, imagine a big, unwieldy scoop of clay on the wheel and the luxury of sculpting and shaping it without worrying if you’ll have enough.

That’s how we feel about writing. You need a lot of messy, first-draft material to edit and revise into the perfect, concise, final piece of content.

Who Cares About Speling?

When drafting, don’t worry about grammar or spelling. The point is to get your ideas out where you can see them. Include every concept and detail that comes to mind.
Your goal is quantity over quality. Yes, you read that right. Later, during the editing phase, you can strive for perfection and obsess over the finer points that will make your content shine.

Follow the 1/3, 2/3 Rule

Spend 1/3 of your time drafting, 2/3 editing.
On purpose, race through your first draft. Don’t worry whether the sentences work or if you’re veering off topic. Just. Write. Fast.

But when editing, slow down. Take your time to finesse your content and consider possibilities.

Try this:

Let’s say you have just an hour to crank out that employee newsletter, blog post, or executive summary. Here’s how you do it:

1. Grab paper and a favorite pen.
2. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
3. Write fast and DON’T stop until the timer finishes.
4. Stand up, stretch, and then inspect what you’ve written.
5. Set a timer for 45 minutes and start sculpting.

Need a few more editing tips?

We’ve got you covered with our Top 10 Editing Pointers.