Saturday, June 18, 2011

Necessary Edits

Hi, peeps, Molly here. I'm making a beehive look like a lazy assortment of sloths right now. I've got my fingers in too many pies, and I'm going to have to make some tough decisions. Editing in life is similar to editing on paper. Here are a few tips to help your writing or to help your life.

1. Think about what is moving the story forward. You have to cut out that stuff, even if it is greenly verdant prose. You have to also cut the business that is not moving your life forward, even if you like it.

2. Is it repetitious? Sometimes you end up doing the same thing twice but once is sufficient. You must cut the repeats. In life the same thing can happen. The repetition can be small and insidious. How many times do you need to check twitter, email, boards, etc.? How many times do you need to rehash that event in your mind?

3. Is this stuff efficient? I play a little game. Can I say this same thought with fewer words? Can I say this same thought with better words? In life, can I do this faster? Can I achieve more with improvements to my processes?

4. Is the slant of this on the spot? The writing may be awesome, but the point of view can slide off. I have to ask, is the writing true to the unique perspective of the piece? The same goes for my life. Am I spending it doing stuff that is authentically me?

5. Is there any lightheartedness in this piece? I have to add fun to my writing. If it's chugging along all dreary and dismal, I cut in some bigheartedness and some humor. Same for my life, I have to move away from my work and have some fun -- take in the sunset, the stars, or the birds in my yard. It doesn't have to be complicated.

There are tons of more ways to edit but these five seems like enough for now. Take some time and edit your writing. Also edit your life. Enjoy both more. Seize the day! See you next week.

Here is a doodle for you: "Abstract #1".

And here is a quote to shore up your week.

Hard writing makes easy reading. Easy writing makes hard reading.
– William Zinsser


Kjersten said...

One form of editing I've been using in my life lately is something I read about from a guy named Derek Sivers called the "Hell ya!" test. I'm not really sure I like calling it that, but I like the general idea: if, when confronted with a new project, gig or opportunity (or even distraction), if we are someone who often says "yes," too often to the point of overwhelming ourselves, perhaps instead we should only say yes if the answer is Heck ya! In other words, we should only say yes if our heart is leaping over the prospect. That way we don't clutter ourselves up so much with reluctant activities to the point that the heck ya projects can't get in. Don't know if it would help with writing, seems like it could. But it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

Thanks for your thoughtful blog.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Kjersten, I like "Heck ya!" I'm going to think about that long and hard before I take on another thing. Hug, Kjersten. Thanks for the wise words. :) Molly