Kill, Commit or Transform Your Writing

I'll be honest. I'm probably not the ideal person to be giving advice on writing but here's a little bit of advice for those aspiring bloggers and writers who frequently question their own writing much like I do.

Last week I had an idea for a technical article. Over the course of the next few days I outlined the article, wrote a couple of drafts, edited it and then read the final draft back to myself. I hated it. It lacked purpose and it didn't offer enough value to the programmers who would be reading it. In the past I would have simply trashed the article and moved onto something else but is there another way?

In her book "Manage Your Project Portfolio", Johanna Rothman has great advice about evaluating software projects and deciding what action to take with projects.

Once you’ve decided you should do this project, you have a limited number of decisions to make. You can commit to a project, kill a project, or transform a project to increase its chances of success.

This could be equally applied to writing.

I've already mentioned that in the past I would trash any articles that didn't meet the grade. Everything else was published. What about transforming that article into something else though? Could we salvage something from it?

I decided to transform the article rather than killing it. It took a couple of hours but in the end up I had a different style of article on a related topic to my original article. I was happy enough with the final result and its now added to the growing pile of technical articles to be published next year.

When it comes to writing it doesn't need to be publish or trash. If something doesn't meet the grade then consider transforming it into something else. It's definitely worth considering rather than throwing away what could be a potentially great piece of writing.