Business Writing

The writing process: Writing

In my last post I talked about pre-writing—two stages of the writing process that involve thinking up your ideas and deciding on the structure. Spending time on these steps will help you write. You won’t need to worry about thinking up ideas at the same time as you are worrying about whether something should be in a new paragraph. Your idea thinking is done.

On to the next step: writing. Again there are two stages, drafting and reviewing.

Stage 3—Drafting

The next step is to put your ideas into the structure—drafting.

Don’t worry about grammar and spelling. The important thing to remember is that you are merely going to write sentences, as they come to you, that you put your ideas into the structure.

Resist all temptation to take notice of red and green lines in your word-processing program that suggest you need to fix something. Please ignore those lines. Just write.

Stage 4—Reviewing

Once you’ve put your ideas into the structure you have a first draft. It is rough and probably full of errors. But that’s okay. Just keep ignoring the errors for the moment. Instead focus only on the content. Ask yourself these questions:

Do you have enough information for each section or do you need to find some more?

Is there something there that really isn’t relevant that you should cut out?

Does it seem as though all the ideas are in the correct place in the structure or do they need to be moved?

After answering these questions, go and find the extra information, delete the things you don’t want, move the things that are in the wrong place.

The reason I suggest you ignore errors in stage 4 is because there is no point spending time perfecting a sentence that you are going to throw away. You will have a chance to fix everything in the post-writing step.