Wiki Life: Iterative Approach to Writing


Iterative WritingWhether you are personal blogging or writing TechNet Wiki articles, a common complaint is finding time to write. People usually wait until they have large blocks of time. Unfortunately, you never have hours to set aside. Instead, you need to be strategic in your composing and take an iterative approach.

An iterative approach to writing means you don’t build the finished article all at once. You build upon it over several drafting sessions until you feel it’s complete. It is the same as if you were to develop a software application. You work on it slowly, over time, until the application is done.

How does this fit with the TechNet Wiki community?

You might have heard the phrase “Writing is rewriting” and it’s true for the TechNet Wiki community. Nothing of quality comes out perfect the first time and all items are a work in progress, Working on your items over time improves your writing. With a wiki post, you can publish items you feel have something worthwhile to say but are perhaps not “perfect.” This is where the community comes in.

Once the article is posted to the TechNet Wiki, the community can help improve it. They can expand on your original ideas and work to create an article encompassing of your original topic. The article is in constant iteration within the wiki.

Not that you should create posts full of mistakes. You should work to post something you are proud of. You should still revise your work after setting it aside for 24 hours (time away from your article lets you see it with “fresh eyes”) and by using a tool like Grammarly.

What I am advocating is not holding onto articles until they are 100%. By posting early and adding revisions consistently, the article becomes an iterative work in progress. Perfection comes at the end instead of when you first published.

by Ken Cenerelli (TwitterBlogMSDN ProfileMVP Profile)

Comments (4)

  1. Naomi N says:

    Great advice! I often change my articles especially when I point to them in the forums and re-read myself and find opportunities to improve.

  2. chilberto says:

    Thanks Ken. I know I am guilty of not wanting to publish until it is done… and you are right, big blocks of time are hard to come by.

  3. Cian Allner says:

    Definitely the way to go, rather than perfecting an article offline, publish it and shape it as needed until it resembles what you envisaged. Gives you the space to come back to it with new insights as well. Big fan of Grammarly also.

  4. pituach says:

    Useful post 🙂
    Thanks for sharing Ken

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