The First is Not the Last

August 22, 2018

 

The first time language is put to the page is certainly not the last time it will be dealt with. Most of us know this...in our minds. However, after days, weeks, months, and dare I utter it - years! - it can be one of the most nerve-wracking ordeals to put your soul on the page and then have it picked apart. After all, you, as the writer, have read and reread, written, deleted, rewritten, and died a few deaths by hanging, the guillotine, and drawn and quartered before you ever have another set of eyes fall on the golden page of glory: your written work.

 

How, then, can you possibly prepare yourself for the editor's review once it comes time to hear the crack-down on your creation?

 

Practice. 

 

Perfect practice, that is. Perfect the practice of accepting constructive criticism.

 

Vince Lombardi said, "Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."

 

Know when you have the blank page in front of you, taunting you, and you get that first draft completed, you still have work to do. Know that the real work isn't accomplished in the first draft, even if you write "final' at the end of the title when you save your document. How many times have we written "FINAL" or "FINAL-FINAL" on the draft as we type at the end of our saved line in our document?

 

Right.

 

So, when your friendly editor comes to you, hard-copy document in one hand and red pen in the other with a look of either exhilaration or discord on his or her face, be ready to revise. Revision is literally that - re-vision; re-see; see again what you've already created and watch the magic! The expansion of your mind: "Wow! I wrote that!" and the humbling of self: "Glad I had an editor," inevitably ensues.

 

And, the good news? The more you write, the better you become. So, when the editor says, "Hi! Let's talk." Show up. Be ready.

 

Finally, when you've tweaked your last phrase and decided to insert the semi-colon in lieu of a period, after Skilled Others have helped you hone your beautiful work, and it's ready for publication, you can rest and know you've created something of value to others - a Great Work that will speak and aid actual human beings in this big ol' world. 

 

Keep Writing,


J.

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