Writing is more than putting words on paper. It is the birthing of ideas. When a child leaves the womb, it is beautiful to the mother despite its being covered in the unappealing remains of its sojourn in utero; however, the dispassionate bystander may react only to appearances, unable to see beyond the superficial. Unless you learn to “clean up” your writing, your potential readers could all remain dispassionate bystanders, unwilling to see the beauty in what you are trying to express.
If you desire others to truly experience your writing, then you must develop an internal relationship with the process. Writing is not like sitting down at a table filled with pieces of a puzzle and struggling to find the ones that fit together, trying first one and then another. Writing is the building of an emotional and intellectual relationship with the idea you are trying to express. In other words, it is an internal process.
As you begin to write, take your time: do not speed write. Take the time to experience each sentence. Read it aloud or to yourself and allow your mind to lead you into the next sentence. I know it sounds crazy, but it does work. Allow yourself time to “feel” what you’re writing. When you do this, your intuition kicks in, and you will often find yourself following a path that had not occurred to you before that moment. Speed writing gives you a false sense of accomplishment, which is nullified by the time you spend trying to make sense of this jumble of ill-thought-out sentences.
Your writing is your creation. You are giving birth to it: so treat it as a living organism. Give it the opportunity to develop “in a manner analogous to the natural growth and evolution characteristic of living organisms.” Nurture your seed idea. Give it the time and attention it deserves so that it develops into an expression of your unique voice, one that is unambiguous, rational, and speaks to your intended audience.
There are “tricks” for improving your writing that you will learn along the way. One of the methods I have always used is reading my work slowly, staying totally in the moment, and listening for what I call the “hiccup.” The “hiccup” is when there is a break in the logic chain of ideas. If you were reciting the alphabet and skipped from b to d, a listener would immediately home in on the fact that you left something out. If you started at the wrong end of the alphabet, the listener would notice this, too, because they would not be able to easily follow your recitation. When listening to your own writing, you should listen for the missing piece or for an unsound presentation of ideas.
Writing is usually about selling an idea. Therefore, you are actually presenting an argument or a persuasive discourse designed to influence the thoughts and/or behaviors of others. To accomplish this, you must dot your i's and cross your t's so that your readers will understand what you’re saying, not focus on a point you omitted, or become distracted by poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation. So, clean up your writing from the inside out – from the idea to the presentation.