PRD writing (alternatively titled ‘Shitty First Drafts’)

What is your writing process like? Perhaps our jobs feel the most mundane when we’re in the ‘doc and a mock’ production phase, knocking out a requirements writeup, the classic one-pager, or a full-on PRD for a major project.

But, how do you get started on that task, particularly when they’re either difficult, the scope is large, or imposing in some way?

Author Anne Lamott, in her book Bird by Bird about the process of writing, says that the key is to write a “Shitty First Draft“, where you just get stuff on the page and worry about the next draft later.

As she says, “*The first draft is the child’s draft*, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later. You just let this childlike part of you channel whatever voices and visions come through and onto the page.”

She goes on to describe the first draft as the down draft, getting things down on paper, the second is the up draft for fixing it up, and the third is the dental draft where you check every tooth to see if it’s loose.

For me, I’ve never really done it this way. I’ve had to box myself into finding an uninterrupted block of time (not on the shuttle!), getting the right section headings, putting in a table of contents, and myriad other ways to not get started. I think it’s time I made a change.

What works for you?

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