Thursday, September 22, 2016

Creativity Tips: Edit!

Thank you all for the lovely reactions to my post on Monday. The public and private feedback, the shares, the comments on Facebook -- all the responses made me glad I took two creative steps I all-too-often skip.

  1. I thought about the post -- a lot -- before I wrote it. 
  2. I edited the post -- a lot -- after I wrote it. 

First of all, thinking. Whoa. And you have to "whoa," because we're all moving so fast we don't have time to think. In this case, I mulled over: What's the strategy behind the copy? What am I trying to accomplish? Who am I talking to and what do they want/need to know?

I thought about writing a "strong women don't cry" post -- and listing all the reasons women have gotten sucked into the negative narrative men have fallen victim to for years. I might have gone that route, but I didn't want to alienate all the good-hearted men who read the blog and could also use a good-hearted cry. So, after thinking it through, I changed my mind and the copy direction.

Next, after I wrote the post, I gave myself plenty of time to edit. And I edited heavily. I cut extraneous words. I made verbs active, rather than passive. I deleted personal information that might have made the post more about me (Whoa again! You mean it's not all about me?) -- and less relevant to you.

I'm glad I did, and that the resulting post resonated with so many of you.

And now, because it is all about me, I'll share one of the deleted tidbits. I didn't just find the Muhammad Ali quote for Monday's post. I had this version of it in my dorm room, 40 years ago.

And, yes. That's the actual poster from my days at MU. 
There's a note on the back from a friend.
I'm a writer. Editing is one thing. Deleting? That's something else. 

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