Refactoring in Writing

 

Esther’s blog entry this morning set me off into gales of laughter. I’m sure I was the original author of the peanut butter/white bread entry, and with editing, Esther turned it from mud to something that’s ready to be edited. A great case of refactoring in writing.

Now that I write for human consumption, as opposed to code for computers, I redesign and refactor my writing all the time. Sometimes, my editing is more like redesign, where I move chunks of text around, and reorganize, add and subtract whole ideas. Sometimes I rewrite small pieces (refactor) so that someone other me can understand what I’m trying to say.

I’m writing the transition to management book with Esther because we both have passion about the topic and we write well together. We’ve tried some pair writing, and it’s not as easy as we thought it would be, so we tend to write separately and then edit each other’s writing. Sometimes we redesign, sometimes we refactor. Sometimes we throw out.

Refactoring is as applicable to project schedules and human-readable writing as it is to code. If you practice refactoring whenever you can, each of you work products will become more valuable and have fewer defects.

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