A “Rough draft” is a starting point, but a “final draft” is a polished piece of writing ready for publication. The difficulty always lies in how to take a “rough draft” and render it into something without errors, that flows with elegance, and style. How to create a memorable piece of writing that is full of sensory details that moves the reader.
I feel more freedom to make mistakes and explore ideas when I’m “drafting.” “Writing,” on the other hand, seems to be more precise, needs more thought and methodology. I often free write my thoughts on a subject first. Then I type it out on the computer, sometimes I will make a mind map of the topic.
Depending on the availability of time, I will fiddle with a topic in my head. Thinking of examples, jotting down small notes. I will read and research on the topic. If possible this first draft will be partitioned over several days, between each sit down, my subconscious will have thought of different ideas and reasons on why to tackle this particular subject. This draft will be in long hand, and once I have the semblance of a rough draft. I start to transfer the scribbles and pages to the computer, for “writing.” This is the beginning of the “writing” process, where while I’m typing, I will reshape phrases, correct grammar, and make sure the thoughts and ideas flow. I will also recognize if more research is needed and where it could be added.
Once this first draft is complete. I let it sit for a few days. I reread aloud, check for errors, inconsistencies, repetitions. I also add relevant research. I keep repeating this process, until I feel it’s in good shape to show it to my writing group. After their feedback, I rewrite again, until I am satisfied with what I have. This process is a matter of habit, and it takes a lot of rewriting to achieve the desired result.
It was interesting to see how others approach drafting. Each person makes adjustments to their methodology based on where they like to work, their own habits, and their time schedules. So that the approach caters to the needs and the preferences of the writer. In the end, we all arrive at a similar destination, but each of us by taking different routes and different modes of transportation some walk, bike, or take the bus, metro, train, or car. Each person’s commuting time is different, yet we all arrive.