Last night we were thrilled to see Mad Men’s Don Draper work through the writing process. He pulled out his journal for pre-writing, then typed a draft and then revised (with actual marked-up page!). All that for a 182-word missive (see below) that ran in the paper as an advertorial.

Why does this get us so excited? Because so few people these days even bother to step themselves through the process, and it shows in their writing.

We're not saying you need to spend hours planning and revising your work. That’s cool if you’ve got that kind of time, but many of us simply do not. But taking some time to think through your thoughts FIRST, then drafting them up quickly is actually faster than just sitting down to that taunting cursor and trying to figure out what to do. Once you’ve got the thoughts on the page in a draft, spend more time revising – making it better, fixing errors, reading it like a reader.

We’d be hard pressed to suggest we all follow most examples from Don Draper’s life. But in this case, he’s modeling great behavior. So the next time you sit down to write, think “What would Don Draper do?” and think first, then write!

Click here to learn more about writing great opinion pieces like Don's. Get more tips on better writing here.