The Kitchen Sink Approach

Everything goes in. And I mean everything. I’m referring to the first draft of a book manuscript I’m working on.

As I’ve been trying to figure out how to approach the project, including how to organize my research, order my topics and maintain a loose daily word count goal, I’ve arrived at something I’ll call the kitchen sink approach. I’ve decided to dump everything I might want to use into the first draft. Not haphazardly, but with some thought and hopefully some cohesion.

I’ve been painfully aware that oftentimes not all my source material is readily available as I’m writing about certain topics. I wonder, for example, where is that quote from so and so? In which article and in which folder, paper or electronic, will I find it? This can be a 10- or 30-minute diversion. And my research is pretty well organized!

So I’ve decided to just write what’s in front of me. For example, if I’m writing from a newspaper article or an interview, I’ll mine it for all its material on the particular topic without trying to track down the other eight sources that might also relate to the subject. I’ll knit everything together later. I’ll rewrite and polish it later. (Much later, in all likelihood.)

There will be transitions to write and stuff to move around. That’s OK. But, for now, everything goes in.


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