Draft-Box Zero: project rules (permissions)


Project:Draft-Box Zero?

This is the first post I am pulling out of draft. It’s an idea I’ve had percolating for years. It is as yet not completely polished, so I will probably edit it over time as my feelings about it change.

I have 48 drafts for this blog I have 53 drafts in my old blog My gmail has thousands of emails with drafts of various sorts


I plan to try to empty my file of drafts. How do you experience your draft box?

What is it?

My goal is to empty my draft (and associated) folders of posts, emails and notes: half-baked, percolating, concept-only, blog-maybe, etc by allowing myself to publish unpolished.

Desiring to have it perfect has: (a) kept me over-working some thoughts until I’ve lost track of why I considered posting about it in the first place, and (b) spoiled my enjoyment of  blogging, until it (c) made me avoid the computer, and (d) kept my blog content old.

How will it work?

Hopefully, by giving myself permission to publish un-polished, and a few rules to help me (1) take that permission, (2) contextualise or differentiate such posts somehow, maybe for me to review the project and maybe for visitors to appreciate the context and (?)


So, various structures could be used to nest my draft-babies: categories, tags, titles, headings, custom-post types.

What holds me back?

Shame, for not being perfect:

  • Knowing enough to be interested, and possibly having investigated associated thoughts, but not every aspect of this thought that came my way
  • Not having anything to add yet – I may want to let people know I’m interested in the topic, but have not worked on it myself
  • Not being first with it
  • Not having pictures to go with it.
  • Having lots of associated thoughts but insufficient cohesion to present it neatly.

So, Rules/Permissions:

To publish unpolished,

I may:

  1. tag with draft-box zero
  2. Leave the topic completely unexplored, except for at least one line of personal context.
    …The context could also be a tag orcategory, it could help to have a set of contexts:

    • bounced (?if I do not name someone else to comment?)
    • handballed (?if I name someone specific to comment?)
    • spitballing
    • navel-gazing
    • Would like to do
    • Needs flesh (for my ideas or my extension of others’ ideas that I haven’t finished and don’t know when I will-how is this different from unfinished?)
    • unfinished
    • needs a picture
    • second stomach? (more thoughts on topic partially handled earlier)
    • other contextual tags I’ve already used before (starting points, to do, about this, just because, worth reading, gang agly)
  3. Use question-marks liberally
    — and other textual indicators of incompletion or uncertainty (I would like to learn some of those)
  4. Publish with a past-date
    • if it is more of a diary-entry than anything else, or
    • if needed to allow a tagged series to appear together in a particular order.
  5. Edit later as I please, even re-write and republish.

I will *not*:

  1. I will *not* publish a list of links, even an annotated list without a darn good excuse – such posts are hell to receive in my feed reader (and I may call out some names in a grumble post) because: (a) I rarely have time to explore all the links or even half of them in one reading; yet (b) at least one of them looks interesting enough to look into when I do have time; and (c) if I keep half-read posts in my reader, I feel uncomfortable at its silent disappearance into the mountain of unfinished and (d) it is ???
  2. I will *not* eschew netiquette or good sense just for the sake of draft-box zero.

At least one person (Sara Davis) has beat me to public use of the phrase “draft-box zero”; but we clearly have similar feelings around it: empty blog sadness, pressure of the unpublished, hesitant release of half-baked posts…

Draft box empty