From the desk of Victor Pride
Subj: From good work to great art
I recently received this question from a reader of B&D:
You’ve mentioned before how editing is where the magic happens, so how do you edit and how did you learn to edit?
Have you ever had a conversation and 5 minutes later you thought to yourself, “that's what I should have said!”
Then you thought about what you should have said all night. You planned out the entire conversation in your head the way you think it should have went instead of the way it actually went.
When you speak in the moment you often forget many things. Then you think about it later and remember all of those little details that would have made what you said more powerful.
If only you could have said all of those wonderful things at the exact right moment.
Unfortunately, when you have a conversation you cannot go back in time to say all the things you wish you had said.
But in the world of writing, you can…
Just because the majority of writing is done on day one, it does not mean that your work needs to also be published on day one.
The writing can be done on day one, the publishing can be done any single day you desire (day 2, day 3, day 4 etc.).
In between the writing and the publishing, you have as much time or as little time as you need to edit the piece of writing and make it perfect.
Many blog artists are simply impatient. They write their article and then they publish it the very same day, even the same hour as finishing the writing.
They write in the moment and they lose the chance to say all of the things they should have said.
They get so fired up to publish their article that their excitement makes them hit the publish button before the blog article is perfect. This is laziness!
I do the opposite.
I wait for all of the things I should have said to come to me, then I add them to the article.
If it takes 2 days, then it takes 2 days. If it takes 3 weeks, then it takes 3 weeks.
I do NOT publish the same day I write!
(Unless I'm writing a blog article each day.)
I only publish when I have adequately layered the piece.
It is only when I've said all the things I needed to say that I publish.
When you write an energetic article that fires you up it is very tempting to hit the publish button right away.
You must learn patience and you must not hit the publish button no matter how much you feel like you want to.
There is always something more to say, there is always something just a little bit deeper that needs to be added.
And that is what is missing when you publish right away – DEPTH.
There can be no depth if you simply write and then publish immediately. There is no way to layer your work if all you do is write, publish, repeat.
The depth comes from writing, then going for a drive, going to the gym, shopping for groceries at the local supermarket, and it is at these times that it hits you…
“That's what I should have said!”
Then you can go back into the piece and layer it before you publish it.
It is these small layers that give normal, mediocre blog articles the depth that takes them from ordinary to extraordinary.
It is only through the power of editing that you work can be presented in it's best form.
The Mona Lisa wasn't painted in a day, Michelangelo's David wasn't carved in a day, and Bold & Determined wasn't written in a day.
Is your great work going to be produced in a single day?
Editing tips to remember:
- It is not possible to adequately write, edit, and publish all in the same day
- A minimum of 24 hours is needed between writing and publishing, this gives you time to think of all the “aha” moments that need to be included
- New blog artists should not worry about editing, they should follow this formula: write, publish, repeat
- Blog artists who have been in the game longer than a year need to follow this formula: write, edit, publish, promote, repeat
- You should spend as much time editing as you spend writing (or even more time editing)
- Anybody can write, nobody has the patience to edit. This is what separates the mediocre from the professional
- PATIENCE is the name of the game
How do you learn to edit?
You learn to edit same way you learn to do anything…
You learn by doing.
Little by little, you go back in to your art and you layer it, piece by piece and brick by brick, until you have built a foundation that cannot be cracked.
When your work is unbreakable, then you can present it to the world.
The longer you spend practicing, the better you get.
It isn't possible to do something long enough and not get good at it.
Until next time.