Writing update: crappy first draft

Stephen Baker

I spent most of the day yesterday sitting on this blue couch, legs stretched out in front of me, writing a book chapter on medicine. I was going on about genes and snips and inbred lab rats, and I was under the illusion that what I was writing was flowing, fun, clear, in short, everything I wanted. I enjoyed dinner.

Then I sat down to read what I'd written. It was garbled, stilted in places, not nearly as fun as I'd thought. I wrote AWK in about seven paragraphs. So my question now: Do I go back and fix it? I mulled this over breakfast. But I've decided to plow ahead. A completed first draft, even if it's bad, has one overwhelming virtue. It's written. I can fix it later.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.