First drafts are always excellent. With wine. How about some editing for dessert?
With enough wine, you can be an opera singer, pro soccer player or a playwright.
But then you wake up the next morning and it’s, usually, not memorable.
Writing and all art, for that matter, is subjective. Who says it’s good? I do. You do. But do they? Who are they anyway?
There is some science to it. There are well-formed sentences and beautiful ideas, but what if they’re not aligned? What if those magnificent ideas are buried in bullet points? What if there are run-on sentences and the whole point is lost in an overuse of extraneous words? Who’s going to tell you? Who’s going to fix it? Who’s going to care?
An editor cares, a reader will care and you care.
I edited some writing for an upcoming post here on Repossible and it was oddly fun. I knew exactly what the writer was trying to say (because I actually interviewed her for the piece) but some of it was getting lost in her long paragraphs. She was so excited to get it all out and although her enthusiasm shone through, some of her main points were getting buried.
The editing was actually really fun, rewarding and challenging to edit someone else’s work. I don’t do it often and should do it more. In fact, it’s something I’d like to do more of.
The process is simple and difficult. Like parachuting (jump, close eyes, open eyes).
I challenge you, dear writer, and I challenge myself to get past #1. #1 is easy, #2 can be painful, #3 is like the victory lap.
- Possible: tipsy first draft
- Impossible: perfect first draft
- Repossible: edited second draft