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 Writing has been major challenge in my life. You may wonder why I am what I ami.e. professor at the graduate business school, the profession where lot of writing is a must.  Sometimes the same question comes to mind, as I have hard time writing. But that is how my life turned out and I do love the other part of being a professor, i.e. interacting with the young generation.  

  I am now in the process of writing a book (in Japanese).  I am often asked to write articles, columns etc. I find writing is a good way to organize my thought, crystallize my message and express myself. In a way, it is an outlet. I have relatively less difficulty when I have something I want to say, and the piece is rather short. (Not too short such as column with word limit).

 Even for these types of writing I have relatively less difficulty, it still takes considerable time for me to write. Thus, I have tremendous respect for those who write so well so often. 

  I have several things I follow when I write, to make me feel that the challenge is not overwhelming.  One of them is to start early and jot down what I want to say. I do not function well under pressure. Thus I am not one of those who wait until the last minute and write at full speed. I have to start early to draft outline of what I want to say so that I can have peace of mind.  Once I have some message I want to convey, I jot it down and develop some type of outline. Then the idea stays in the back of my mind and my mind is alert to any related stimuli. Even though I do not think about the idea constantly, some things I hear or see stimulate my mind and the idea gets developed. 

 Then I sit down to write. I cannot write over a long period of time, so I take a break here and there.  I repeat this process over a course of several days. Then the early part of my draft gets clearer, as I read it so many times and revise so that it is better organized. After a little while, I then start from the conclusion.  I start from the clean slate and say to myself, You have thought about this for a while. What is it that you want to say?  Rather than starting from the beginning, I start from the conclusion. It is a good time as I have thought about it for a while and my message is just about to be crystallized. I revise my conclusion several times and think about the organization of the whole piece from the top down, i.e. from the conclusion backwards. I usually end up throwing most of what I have written, as it is now easier for me to see which parts are necessary to get my conclusion across and which parts are not.  I try to have the clear flow of logic with now-written conclusion. I throw away a lot of I have written (particularly the sections I write early in the process) and add some more to have a clearer storyline.  It may look that this is not the most productive or efficient way of writing, but this is the way I have developed for myself. I am not the person who can start from the conclusion (most of the time) and I have to do some preparatory work. It is like a warm-up before the race.

  As I have better sense of the time it takes to write with warm-up, I start early so that I can go through the process without panic.  All of this works for the paper or article with 10 pages or so. The book is a completely different story, as doing the above will not work. I am still struggling what would be my way of writing a book. More to come.  

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