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Robert E. Malchman

The word processor is, unquestionably, an unalloyed good for writing. Writing is thinking, and thinking is writing. The first draft should be everything in your brain, not an edited selection before it gets to the page/screen. It's much harder to add to a draft than to pare down -- it's sculpting marble from a block, not clay from a lump. If you make a mistake editing mentally, it's much harder to go back and fix it, than if you put something useless down on the page/screen. The latter will scream out at you on revision; the former can end up being a hunt for a needle in haystack of words.

I would tell my legal writing students, "Get everything out on the first draft. Don't worry about the page limit. Don't worry about being overinclusive of arguments, facts, authorities. Vomit it all out on to the screen, and then go around and clean it up. There is no good writing; there is only good rewriting, and the word processor is the greatest boon to rewriting, ever.

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