Today's IoS has a piece on Jack Kerouac's manuscript. They write "It took Jack Kerouac just three weeks to write what became one of the most influential books of the 20th century, inspiring a generation of writers, artists and musicians from Bob Dylan to Hanif Kureishi.
Or such is the myth. In fact what became On the Road was edited extensively over a six-year period before it was published in 1957. "
This struck a chord with Garr's blog Make your presentations stickier: these 3 books can help" which he ends with the comment
(Yes, this post is too long for a blog; if I had more time I would've made shorter. Sticky ideas, like presentations and blog posts, are also concise).
It is true that we spend time getting down our ideas "on paper" but feel that spending just as much time editing our ideas into a coherent stream of passion and persuasiveness that makes a concept sticky seems, well, a waste of time, all we want to do is inform, not entertain and engage!! Looking at it from a presentees point of view means that these two are reversed.. they come to spend time with you so thay at least want to be entertained and engaged for 40 minutes and maybe even take away a nugget of your knowledge that has stuck in their minds. As a professor said to me as I was writing my first lecture as an academic "Your duty is, during each hour, to entertain your students and during the entertainment give the one nugget of information that they can take away and use in their next assignment."
So presenting, book writing, etc. is a case of getting "stuff" down and then using knowledge of sticky communication (see also the book the Social Life of Information ) to hone the story and simplifying the nuggets down to the essence.. each takes a great chunk of time but iterative prototyping (also called drafts) is one (effective) way of getting there.
took a lot of effort...(penguin edition). But so you can see the starting point the original 120 foot scroll is transcribed here
picture updated 10th Sept, 2007. Seen on shelves of local bookshop.