On the Writing Process, Part 1
Discussions about legal writing usually focus on what we put on the page—words, sentences, punctuation. But there’s another, equally important topic: how to get them there. So the next two columns are all about the writing process. Writing is hard. Going from initial thoughts to final, polished draft can be downright overwhelming, causing writers to struggle or stall. One reason, of course, is that “writing” isn’t a homogenous activity. It’s a series of discrete tasks—planning, drafting, editing, proofreading—each requiring different skills and a different mindset. Writers often flounder because they’re trying to do all of these things at the same time. So in this series, we’ll focus on dividing the writing process into distinct phases and tackling each one separately. Here, we’ll explore some techniques for going from blank page to first draft.