A man writing

 

If you are writing a draft of a chapter, article or any piece of written material to send to a colleague, co-author, hired editor or friend to critique, do not make it perfect! First of all, perfect is impossible and secondly if you aim for perfect you’re going to take two bullets in your attempt to get there.

The first shot goes right to your time –

If you try to send out a really super polished draft you have completely wasted massive amounts of your precious time. Most likely you want your draft, DRAFT, to look like an effortless work of art. You’re trying to impress someone, protect yourself from criticism, or just prove you’re smarter than everyone else on the block. Please take a moment to question why you think you have to make such a flawless draft.

The second gunshot wound goes right to your heart –

You get the requested feedback sent to you. They suggest changes. Changes! The nerve. They critique your work and offer suggestions, point out gaps and even make corrections, right there on your seemingly effortless work of art. Well. It’s not easy to go back and fix something you spent so much time trying to make unbreakable. The fact they still found “fault” with your work shakes you up. Maybe you’re not so smart after all. Maybe they stink and don’t know what they are doing, and they are probably really ugly too. And maybe you left a bad impression.

This second shot really messes you up. The only good thing about the critique is you got your kitchen floor ridiculously clean. Anything to avoid dealing with the suggested edits. This is often when you call me because you simply can’t seem to find a way to face the edits. Thank you for your business. If you would rather not have to call on me, then make a draft. Here’s what a draft has.

  1. A draft has a fairly logical flow.
  2. A draft has all the pieces of what is being asked for at least sketched out.
  3. A draft has been scanned for typos.
  4. A draft gives the critiquing reader a sense of what you’re trying to say.
  5. A draft is something you send to be looked at before you feel like it’s done.

Be honest, are you an over-drafter?