Orange Crate Art blogger Michael Leddy, a college English professor, wrote a short and insightful essay for Lifehack.org titled "Granularity For Students." Michael presents a simple idea: break tasks down into manageable chunks and they won't be as daunting. But as he says, "the typical spiral-bound student-planner doesn’t seem to encourage (granularity); that tool is often little more than a place to store due dates: “research paper due.” I like how Michael explains the way granularity might be applied to the task of writing:
Instead of writing a draft and “looking it over,” it’s much smarter to break down the work of writing and editing by thinking about one thing at a time. Developing a strong thesis statement: that’s one task. Working out a sequence of paragraphs to develop that thesis: another task. Figuring out how to make a transition from one paragraph to another: another task. If you tend to have patterns of errors in your writing, look for each kind of error, one at a time. Noun-pronoun agreement? Read a draft once through looking only for that. Comma splices? Read once through with your eyes on the commas. It might seem that approaching the work of writing and editing in terms of smaller, separate tasks is unnecessarily cumbersome, but breaking things down will likely make it far easier to work more effectively and come out with a stronger piece of writing. No writer can think about everything at once.Link
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.