Go for speed - Step 5 – Draft

7 Steps to Better Writing - Charles Maxwell 2020

Go for speed
Step 5 – Draft

As you draft, strive for speed. Type, write, or dictate as fast as you can. Skip mistakes, abbreviate, and add blanks when you struggle for details. Move ahead. Keep your thoughts flowing. Rapidly consult your mind map and outline, and keep writing.

Avoid dredging up details you cannot obtain from your research notes or from brief internet access. If you need to add specific details, which you cannot perfectly recall and which will take time to find, then mark the spot with a blank or ellipse for later addition and move on.

When drafting, stay away from the internet except for quick access to known sources. Going there for other purposes will distract you.

Keep advancing your draft. Get your ideas up on the computer screen or down on paper as swiftly as possible. Later, add facts, figures, and details. If you get stuck when working on one part of a document, move to another subtopic. Add a few blank lines and take up writing on the other part.

Ignore spelling and grammar errors. When using word processing software, some people find it helpful to turn off auto-spelling and grammar checking. The following table summarizes how to turn off these features with the most common word processing software.


Commands to Turn off Auto Spell Check



/File /Options /Proofing /Check spelling as you type/



/Tools /Options /Language Settings /Writing Aids /Check spelling as you type/ and /Check grammar as you type/

If you discipline yourself to keep moving ahead, turning off spell checking and grammar checking may be unnecessary. It is your call.

Another technique to accelerate drafting is to type without looking at what you have written. This is particularly effective with voice recognition software, which tends to confuse homophones and similar sounding words.

In all cases, keep the ideas flowing. Come back later to fix mistakes.