A few notes on writing

I am under no illusion of being a very good writer, but I have discovered a few things based on my own experience.

The best approach to writing for me seems to be:

  1. Write down the topic with a few ideas that come right away.
  2. Set it aside and let it digest. During this time, I typically investigate the topic in my direct experience and write down a few words about what I notice. Apart from that, I don’t think about it very much if at all.
  3. When the topic feels sufficiently digested, I write an outline and sometimes add to it as new insights and ideas comes to me.
  4. And when it feels sufficiently digested for an article, write the article. If I allow time for digesting in this way, the writing typically happens quickly and easily.

The time for digestion varies but usually goes over a few days. And sometimes, I combine step one and two and change the outline later after some digestion and exploring,

When I find myself satisfied about what I have written, it’s usually when I wrote the final text fast and easily after allowing enough time for digestion and expiration.

If I struggle with a text and have to revisit and rewrite, it usually means I didn’t allow enough time for digestion, direct investigation, and outlining. No matter how much I rewrite, it typically feels disjointed and as if written by committee.

It often helps to set it aside completely and go back to the beginning. I may do a new outline. I explore it in my direct experience. And I write the article from scratch. Then, it often comes out fast and easily and feels much better.

And sometimes, I write fast and easily without this process, and I am initially happy with it. As the topic has more time to digest in me, I typically realize I left out something important or I wish I had organized the text differently. And I may rewrite it.

The digestion process leads to a better product. And equally or more important, it allows me to explore the topic more thoroughly and discover something new and surprising to me, which feels far more satisfying. Surprising myself, even in a small way, makes it worth it.


INITIAL DRAFT

I am under no illusion of being a very good writer, but I have made some observations about writing from my own experience. 

When I find myself satisfied about what I have written, it’s usually something I wrote fast and easily. 

If I struggle with a text and have to revisit and rewrite, I am usually not very satisfied with the result. It typically feels disjointed and as if written by committee. 

If I struggle with a text in that way, it often helps to set it aside completely and write on the same topic from scratch. Then, it often comes out fast and easily and feels much better. (The initial struggle led to a clarity that could come out when I set aside the initial text.) 

The best approach to writing for me seems to be: 

  1. Write down the topic with a few ideas that come right away. 
  2. Set it aside and let it digest. During this time, I typically investigate the topic in my direct experience and write down a few words about what I notice. Apart from that, I don’t think about it very much if at all. 
  3. When the topic feels sufficiently digested, I write an outline and sometimes add to it as new insights and ideas comes to me. 
  4. And when it feels sufficiently digested for an article, write the article. If I allow time for digesting in this way, the writing typically happens quickly and easily. 

And sometimes, if the topic is familiar to me, I write the article in one go as soon as I get the idea, as I did with this one. In these cases, the writing is often fast and easy but I often later realize I missed out on something important. 

The digestion process allows me to explore the topic more thoroughly and often discover something new and surprising to me, which feels far more satisfying.

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