The Japanese term kaizen translates literally to improvement, but it’s a term that has come to mean gradual, continuous improvement of a piece of collaborative work. It’s most commonly associated with manufacturing operations, but I think it has general application to almost everything, including writing. In companies that implement kaizen, workers look continuously for small improvements that can be implemented immediately. The philosophy was developed to adjust the work process from its traditional practices, back when making a new iteration of something was laborious and had to be done all at once. But now that writing can take place digitally, kaizen effectively removes the idea of the draft from the work process. In kaizen, there’s no need to finish a draft before you can go back to the first sentence and start revising it again. There are no drafts. There is only kaizen. After some duration of continuous work, the piece is done. And that finished piece is the only artifact of all that work.