Like communication in general, good writing comes from following a process. Between an author hatching an idea and the audience reading and understanding that idea, the writing process enables the author to craft messages in a time-efficient manner that ultimately meets the needs of the audience. Without following a four-stage process — (1) preparing, (2) information gathering, (3) drafting and (4) editing) — an author can waste plenty of their own time writing what doesn’t need to be written and wasting the reader’s time by confusing them with a message that doesn’t meet their needs. The next four chapters deal with each of these four writing stages, dividing them into several steps that, when followed as a matter of habit, can save you time by helping you write no more or less than you need to in achieving your professional communication goals.
In this chapter, we will cover:
Figure 2.1: The four-stage writing process and Stage 1 breakdown