In other words, you need to write a quick draft which is going to form the main body of your letter, memo, e-mail or essay. Don’t take me wrong though; writing a draft doesn’t automatically mean twice as much time spent in the process than if you were to write it all spotlessly from scratch. Why?
First of all, don’t forget how much time you just wasted just sitting and staring at the monitor unable to produce any text whatsoever! Even if you do spend additional time correcting your own mistakes after the draft has been written, you should see merit of this technique in that it allows you to write a concrete piece of text. Regardless of its quality, it’s a tangible result and it can be improved upon.
Secondly, correcting a piece of text that’s been spewed out without much thinking is much easier and quicker that you may think! I’ve always found that my mind works best when it’s not limited by conscious considerations regarding English grammar and style. Remember – it’s less time consuming to fix those five spots in five paragraphs that don’t sound right than spending five minutes on each of them trying to make it all perfect from the beginning!
What’s surprising about writing drafts is that sometimes you’ll find there’s very little to correct when you go back to finalize the piece of English text. Personally I do quite a lot of writing in English and I have days when it’s harder to gather thoughts and speak, so the writing process is also slightly hindered. When I proofread an article, however, I often find it sounds very well and there’s nothing to add or take away! So it may happen to you if you let creativity take over and just write fast and without much thinking!
After you’ve produced the draft, read the piece of text aloud. Don’t just scan it as mistakes will escape your attention. You have to read it aloud and surprisingly enough you’ll spot most of awkwardly sounding bits that you didn’t notice when writing the draft!
When you write the draft fast and without much thinking, you are the creator of the content. Yet when you go back and check what’s written you’re not involved anymore in the process of creation. You adopt an observer’s role and now you can spot any grammar or style mistake much easier than during the process of writing.
So here are the three steps of the draft writing technique:
- Just get it all out on a piece of paper or text processing software
- Proofread and correct the text you just produced.
- Use spellchecker to ensure you haven’t missed any grammar mistakes.
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