In the past few years, I’ve made it a habit to write regularly. Some of the things I write find their way into books, posts, and articles immediately. But as you can imagine, much of my writing is done to clarify my thinking. Private writing. It’s not meant for publication, at least not right away.
Instead of deleting this exploratory writing, though, I use it as fuel for future public writing. Here’s how:
The first thing I do is read over my freewriting and see if there’s anything I want to save. I’m looking for ideas, observations, stories, and hypotheses. For want of a better phrase, I call each one of these a thought chunk.
When I find a promising chunk, I cut it out of the freewriting document and ...