« Me in The Tech | Main | Start of October 25 Column »


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.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

Search PSACOT Using Google

  • Pre 2005 Search

Blog Notification

  • Blog Email Notification

    Want to receive an email when I post new content? Sign up.

  • Text Notification

    If you wish to receive text notifications of PSACOT's weekly posting, rather than email notification, send me an email and I will add you to the text list.

Paul Schindler on TV

Stories of a Young Journalist


Favorite Movies

  • My all-time favorite movie:
    Groundhog Day. I have created a fan site that is universally acknowledged to be the best on the Internet dedicated to this work of art.

    All the rest of my favorite movies (Deadline USA, The Paper, CitizenKane) are Journalism movies.


Paul's Permanent Content

Paul's Poetry Corner

Paul's Reading Here

  • My Reading List
    As Paul's reading list has grown, he has moved it to a separate page.
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2005


  • Statcounter

Love Songs