35 Drafting The Hard Way

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Drafting the Hard Way


Drafting is an essential skill for any writer, whether you're working on a novel, an article, or even a simple email. It's the process of putting your thoughts into words and organizing them in a coherent and logical manner. While there are various methods and tools available to make the drafting process easier, sometimes it's beneficial to go back to the basics and do things the hard way. In this article, we'll explore the concept of drafting the hard way and how it can improve your writing skills.

The Power of Pen and Paper

In today's digital age, it's easy to rely on technology for everything, including writing. However, there's something magical about the simplicity of pen and paper. By physically writing out your drafts, you engage different parts of your brain and tap into your creativity in a unique way. Grab a notebook and a pen, and let your thoughts flow onto the paper.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

In a world that's constantly moving at a fast pace, taking the time to draft slowly can make a significant difference in the quality of your writing. Instead of rushing through your drafts, allow yourself to think deeply about each sentence and paragraph. Take breaks, reflect, and come back to your writing with fresh eyes. This deliberate approach will help you catch errors, refine your ideas, and ultimately produce a more polished piece.

Embrace Imperfections

One of the advantages of drafting the hard way is that it allows you to embrace imperfections. When you write digitally, it's tempting to constantly edit and perfect each sentence as you go. However, this can hinder the creative process and prevent you from fully exploring your ideas. By accepting that your initial draft will be imperfect, you give yourself permission to take risks and experiment with different writing styles.

Utilize Revisions

Revision is an integral part of the drafting process, regardless of whether you're writing the hard way or using digital tools. However, when you draft by hand, it's easier to see your writing as a work in progress. Embrace the revisions and make changes as necessary. Cross out sentences, rearrange paragraphs, and add notes in the margins. This hands-on approach allows for a more organic and flexible writing process.

Get Physical with Editing

Editing can be a daunting task, but when done physically, it becomes a more tangible and engaging experience. Print out your draft and grab a pen or a highlighter. As you read through your work, mark any areas that need improvement, whether it's grammar, clarity, or structure. Seeing your writing on paper allows you to spot errors and inconsistencies that may have gone unnoticed on a screen.

Find Inspiration in Analog

In today's digital world, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the constant influx of information and distractions. By stepping away from the screen and immersing yourself in analog activities, you can find new sources of inspiration. Take a walk in nature, visit a museum, or read a physical book. These experiences can spark creativity and provide fresh perspectives for your writing.

Emotional Connection through Handwriting

There's a unique emotional connection that comes with handwriting. When you write by hand, you infuse your words with your own personal touch. This connection can be especially powerful when writing pieces that require a personal or intimate tone. Whether it's a heartfelt letter or a reflective journal entry, handwriting can enhance the emotional impact of your words.

Emphasize the Importance of Structure

Structure is the backbone of any well-written piece. When you draft by hand, you have the opportunity to physically rearrange your paragraphs and sentences. Experiment with different structures and see what works best for your writing. This hands-on approach allows you to visualize the flow of your piece and make adjustments accordingly.

Learn Patience and Persistence

Drafting the hard way requires patience and persistence. It's not always easy to stick with the process, especially when faced with writer's block or self-doubt. However, by embracing the challenges and pushing through, you develop resilience as a writer. Each draft is a stepping stone towards improvement, and the hard work will ultimately pay off in the form of stronger, more impactful writing.

Engage in Mindful Writing

Mindfulness is a practice that can benefit all areas of life, including writing. When you draft the hard way, you have the opportunity to be fully present in the moment and engage in mindful writing. Focus on each word, each sentence, and each thought. By immersing yourself in the process, you'll find greater clarity and depth in your writing.

Reconnect with Your Inner Writer

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's easy to lose touch with your inner writer. Drafting the hard way allows you to reconnect with your passion for writing and rediscover the joy of the creative process. Embrace the simplicity and purity of putting pen to paper, and let your words flow freely. Reconnecting with your inner writer can reignite your love for the craft and inspire you to continue honing your skills.

Build a Writing Ritual

Drafting the hard way can become a ritualistic practice that enhances your writing routine. Create a dedicated space for your writing, whether it's a cozy corner of your home or a favorite café. Set aside specific times for drafting, and make it a habit. By incorporating this ritual into your life, you'll find that the act of writing becomes more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Discover the Joy of Handwriting

There's a certain joy that comes with the act of handwriting. The feel of the pen gliding across the paper, the sound of the ink flowing onto the page – these simple pleasures can enhance your writing experience. Embrace the tactile nature of handwriting and savor the moments of pure bliss as you watch your words come to life.

Experience the Catharsis of Crossing Out

There's something incredibly satisfying about crossing out words or sentences that don't quite fit. When you draft by hand, you have the freedom to physically strike through any sections that don't work. This act of crossing out can be cathartic and empowering, allowing you to let go of what no longer serves your writing and make room for new ideas to emerge.

Tap into Your Intuition

Writing the hard way encourages you to tap into your intuition. When you're physically connected to your words, you can better sense when something isn't quite right or when an idea needs further exploration. Trust your gut instincts and allow your intuition to guide you through the drafting process. This connection to your inner voice will lead to more authentic and compelling writing.

Appreciate the Process

In our results-driven society, it's easy to become fixated on the end product and overlook the beauty of the process. Drafting the hard way forces you to slow down and appreciate each stage of the writing journey. Embrace the challenges, celebrate the breakthroughs, and savor the small victories along the way. By finding joy in the process, you'll cultivate a deeper love for writing and continue to grow as a writer.


While technology has undoubtedly revolutionized the way we write, there's still immense value in going back to the basics and drafting the hard way. By utilizing pen and paper, embracing imperfections, and engaging in mindful writing, you can enhance your writing skills and deepen your connection to the craft. So, grab a notebook and a pen, and embark on the journey of drafting the hard way. Your writing will thank you.