Be A Reporter - Rule of Thumb

Authoring– Researching, Editing, Writing

Whether it’s writing an article, a book, a dissertation or a computer programme, the 70-20-10 Rule provides a structure for the work involved. The free online book “30 Day to Better Business Writing” outlines this “Rule of Thumb” in its very first day titled “Be a Reporter”….

· 70% Researching – (actually, he attributes 50%) Includes interviewing and other investigation.

· 20% Editing – (actually, he attributes 33%) Includes proof-reading and for me preparation of other elements like graphics.

· 10% Writing – (actually, he attributes 17%) The actual writing stuff.

The piece claims that the same breakdown applies to writing computer programmes (design, debugging, writing) and it coincides closely with my experience. The “70% Researching” might seem high at first, but really is consistent with any number of creative activities where preparation is the bulk of the work. Cooking, crafting and composing are all examples where preparation is nearly everything. It’s not just that the prep is more time consuming. It’s that when I have done great research for a post or other piece, I typically find that the piece almost writes itself.

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