When writing essays or other writings, I try to focus on boundaries. I try to stay inside the theme or main point I’m writing about. Who has ever accomplished this in their first draft?
I rarely have. As an example, I wandered around in writing this blog. At some point I realized I had reached 300 words, but not the ending. I went back and extracted the alternative paths I took, without knowing I took them. I saved these additional paths in another file for a future blog.
The point is to stick to the point. I try to focus on what should be written and take out what should be left for another writing. I think that in an essay or any type of writing there should always be one primary purpose, a goal to reach, a place to land on. The reader wants this (I want this as a reader). It’s not that easy, I know.
It takes practice writing concise essays, short stories, or other limited writings. Yet, doing so helps the writer learn how to focus on what to say. A billion years ago when I started to write as a writer, I attempted a novel (that I still have). I realized I was being wordy like I’ve seen in too many other novels since. I decided to write short stories so I could be more efficient.
By writing short stories I learned to conserve words, maintain focus, and tell the story without adding things that didn’t belong.
It doesn’t matter what a writer writes as long as they know where to go and get there in the most direct path as possible. There will be other times to write about those other paths attempted.