Writing in an infinitely editable medium

It used to be that when you wished to write something, you would take a pen and piece of paper and write. This would be edited and rewritten into an entirely new document. Iteration would occur as necessary.

When writing something by hand or typewriter, the flow of logic was usually formulated before anything was set to paper. The high cost of editing and re-writing/typing forced you to think things through, and to get it right as soon as possible.

This level of mental effort is not at all required in a modern word processor – you can vomit into a text box and tweak and re-write until the document converges to something workable. This technology has definite advantages, but what does this do to our thinking? I think the result is poor writing. Surely we don’t need to go back to pen and paper, but you and your readers would benefit from a more calculated approach.

What if you tried to nail it on the first pass? The commitment, forethought, and resulting quality would improve dramatically.

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