The Publishing Process
Apr 28, 2022
The Publishing Process is a simple framework to separate the writing process into 4 steps.
I’ve received positive feedback on versions of The Publishing Process over the past year while running Taptive cohorts. You can duplicate the Notion template of The Publishing Process that we use for The Tech Progressive here.
In this post, I’ll walk through each step of the process.
An important part of publishing is to separate the process into distinct steps - you should never write a post in one sitting.
The four steps of The Publishing Process are Topic Selection, Bullet Draft, Substance Draft, and Clarity Draft.
🔮 Topic Selection
The Topic Selection step sets in motion the remainder of the process. The name speaks for itself. During this step, choose a topic for your post.
When selecting a topic, brainstorm topics that you want to share with others or you want to personally explore.
The best topics are ideas that have been circling your mind and you want to clarify through writing.
Once you’ve selected a topic, quickly move to the Bullet Draft.
🚄 Bullet Draft
The objective of the Bullet Draft is to get your ideas on "paper." Aim to write between 5 and 20 bullets to outline your essay.
Draft your bullets as quickly as possible.
Do not edit, delete, pause, or worry about grammar, style, or structure. The goal is to get your thoughts out of your head. Nothing more.
Once your Bullet Draft is complete, you will feel much better about completing your essay as you will not be tackling an empty page.
After the Bullet Draft, step away from the post for a few days (or hours if you’re publishing every day).
📝 Substance Draft
The objective of the Substance Draft is to clean up the Bullet Draft and hone in on the vision of the post.
At this stage, you have 5-20 bullet points expanding on your selected topic. When writing the Substance Draft, remove the bullets and add additional clarity where necessary.
The Substance Draft is the time to add all necessary substance to the post. Don’t be afraid to take 2 passes through the Substance Draft adding additional writing where you see fit.
Start to move the post in the direction of the final draft by creating paragraphs and sections. Maintain a similar mindset as the Bullet Draft and focus on writing not editing.
The objective of the Clarity Draft is to edit your post with an emphasis on clarity. The Clarity Draft is the most important and difficult step of The Publishing Process.
With the Substance Draft complete, your post is structured with a clear vision. Now, the focus is on removing any writing that doesn’t drive home the main purpose of the post.
This is difficult because you must be willing to delete writing.
During the Bullet Draft and Substance Draft steps, there was little hesitation in writing. Now, we’re aiming for clarity. This comes through elimination.
Remember to Write Like an Amazonian when editing.
1. Use less than 30 words per sentence
2. Be objective: replace adjectives and adverbs with data
3. Use the "So What" Test
4. Avoid Jargon and Acronyms
5. Use subject-verb-object sentences
After a first pass of the Clarity Draft, read it aloud to find errors.
You are now ready to publish.
The Publishing Plan has 4 steps.
First, choose a topic to set the process in motion. Once you have a topic, quickly move to the Bullet Draft and write as much as you can about the topic without worrying about grammar or style.
Then, write a Substance Draft where you build out each bullet with more context to bring your post to life. Finally, focus on clarity and eliminate unnecessary writing with a Clarity Draft.