Writing is an iterative loop
While mulling over the next essay to be written write, I felt the need for a reference guide to writing. The thought that crossed my mind at once was that instead of looking for a guide, I am going to write one for myself.
It would be short, specific, and based on my experience. Thereafter, whenever I needed some direction or guidance, it would be available to me for review. And so I wrote it as follows.
1. Think one step at a time
- focus on each idea long enough to make sense of it
- capture other competing ideas and revisit them later
2. Capture thoughts in your notes
- write down your thoughts so keep them safe
- don’t rely on memory
3. Add details to each idea
- paint a vivid picture
- provide the cures that help the reader to reconstruct your ideas their minds
4. Organise it to find a flow
- make it easy to read and follow
- answer questions as they naturally arise
5. Add connecting text to support the flow
- show the relationship between ideas
- illustrate that the ideas are in a logical sequence
6. Review the outline to check for coherence
- read it as though someone else wrote it
- rewrite anything that is difficult to read
7. Write down unanswered questions or loopholes
- talking to others about your ideas helps find these loopholes
- always helps to give it another read as well
8. Think one step at a time
(start from the top)
Writing is an iterative loop. How we think influences our writing as much as how we write influences our thinking.
With deliberate practice and quick iterations, we can make remarkable progress in how we communicate, and ultimately in how we think.