Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sleeping on it

Before starting this blog I argued with my friend Sandy that the pressure regarding the quality of blog postings was different for a writing consultant than for an IT consultant. Obviously, I got over those concerns but I don't mind admitting that I'm probably not a "true" blogger because I rarely simply sit down, write an entry and post it. I usually compose it and then save it in draft form for awhile, revising it from time-to-time before publishing it.

In defense of my blogging technique, I see it as simply following my own advice. You see, in my writing seminars I urge participants to always allow themselves enough time after finishing a document to let it sit overnight and re-read it the next day before sending it off. (If there isn't enough time for this, I suggest they at least put it aside and go to the gym, or go meet someone for lunch, or do something that will take their mind completely off of it for a little while.)

If you do this, when you come back to the document (preferably the next day) and re-read it, I guarantee you'll catch some mistake (hopefully it'll be an easy-to-fix typo, but it could be something more significant) that you didn't catch before.

The reason for this is simple: while you're working on a document your mind is so focused on the subject at hand, you simply don't notice things like typos. (Indeed, for the same reason your mind sometimes even glosses over important details.) So, by putting the document aside while you concentrate on something else (whether it's bench pressing more at the gym, or listening to your friend's boyfriend problems over a coffee), when you go back to the document your mind is refreshed and you'll be more in the position of the reader than the writer.

If you don't believe me, sleep on it. Then let me know!