Learning from the Masters: Peter Drucker

Mar 7, 2012 | Better Writing

Peter Drucker is one of the few people who do not need an introduction. If you’d like an overview of his life and impact, though, you can read his obituary as printed in the New York Times.

This “advice” about writing is not in direct quotes. Instead it draws on my years of reading his work and on the single occasion when I had an extraordinary opportunity to spend an evening with him.

Peter Drucker wrote to learn. He wrote to learn and analyze and make sense of things. No matter what you’re writing, from short blog posts to weighty tomes, that’s one good reason to write.

Peter Drucker wrote a first draft that he never used. After he finished it, he threw it away and started over. When I met him he referred to that draft as his “zero draft,” the one before the first draft, the one you learn from. I call this blog Zero Draft for the same reason.

These two bits of practice are actually one. If you are writing to learn, it’s the zero draft where you discover what you know and what you need to learn. Then the writing can begin in earnest.

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts.

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