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The Art of Editing

Most of the time, you read a much different version of what I intend to write. First, I write and write and write. Then, I edit. Sometimes, when I’m “feeling” it, I write exactly what I intend and want and know to be good, without editing. That’s rare, though.

The opposite is true in talking. I have to edit my words before speaking them. Trust me, unfiltered thoughts turned into words are no good for anyone. I’ve tried to dig myself out of verbal ditches many times before. It’s not fun.

Both forms of editing are difficult. And important. And often forgotten. The world could use a few more editors.

Say what’s important, what needs to be said/written. Edit everything else.

One thought on “The Art of Editing

  1. I find that the power of good editing is often dismissed by native English speakers, who believe that they can communicate their message better than anyone else could ever do it for them. I don’t disagree with the basis of that belief – only you can get your thoughts out of your head and out into the open. A good editor doesn’t try to change your message, only make it clearer. Sometimes it’s a matter of emphasising the interests of the intended audience, sometimes it’s more of sharpening vocabulary or jazzing up phrases, sometimes it’s simply the perspective of a un-invested mind – it is definitely easier to review a document critically when it’s not your baby. Regardless, it’s the people who are convinced that they don’t need an editor, who toss you their document with a “well, see what you think”… when they smile, and start nodding their head as they read their document, that’s when you really feel you earned your paycheque.

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