Thinking and improving

John Cutler has good notes on creating a writing culture, including a neat definition of what that is: “A write-and-reading-and-feedback-giving culture requires time to think, process, and respond. Writing isn’t the end goal: thinking and improving is the goal.” I’d expand on that to say that the output of the writing isn’t even the goal—it’s the process of writing, reading, and gathering feedback that delivers the real benefit. In other words, a writing culture is very different from a documentation culture. Cutler mentions that documents should be living, to which I’d add a caveat: some documents need to live, and should be governed as such. But plenty of docs are just the debris left behind after some collaborative thinking has occurred, and it’s perfectly ok to let them decay.