One of the hardest things to do once you start writing is to stop writing. My solution to this is to encourage my clients to start with a sloppy draft.
What is a sloppy draft, you might ask?
It’s that first (or second, or third) draft you start with after giving some thought to the message you want to share and who you want to share it with.
It can be written with pen and paper or on your computer – whichever works best for you.
This is that draft where you write down everything you can think of on your topic. Start by writing a list of points that you want to cover. Don’t worry about what order they should be in when you are done. Just pick one of your points and start with it. As you think of new things related to that smaller topic, add them. Don’t leave anything out.
After you have written “a chapter” on each of your points, set everything aside for a few days to a week.
Print out a double or triple-spaced copy of your sloppy draft if it is on your computer.
Review your notes on who your audience is.
- A newbie to your topic?
- An experienced person in your field?
- A combination?
Look at your original notes on the message you want to share so you are clear on the purpose of this book.
Get yourself a couple of pens of different colors. Perhaps add a bright yellow highlighter.
Read through each chapter.
- Highlight or underline the points you want to keep in this book.
- Circle points that belong in a different book – use different colors of ink if you are starting to visualize more than one additional book.
- Draw a line through anything you have written that just doesn’t fit anywhere, for whatever reason.
After you complete this review, you are ready to go back and write your next draft – not your final draft, but your next draft. As you work on this one, you may decide to add back something you set aside earlier or add something completely new that completes the point you want to make.
The important thing is that now you should be able to focus on the material that will meet your goals with this book without hundreds of unrelated thoughts swirling through your mind.
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Have some questions about writing your sloppy draft? Give me a call at 843-593-0045 or use this link to schedule your complimentary Enchanted Book Session.