Resources that solve a problem, offer new insights, or tickle your gray matter.
"Are you paralyzed with fear? That's a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it."
~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
None of us have enough time, so we’ve got to make the best use of the time we’ve got. If you want to make more time for your writing, you’ve got to be intentional — both with the time you set aside and how you use it.
"An architect's most useful tools are an eraser at the drafting board and a wrecking bar at the site."
~ Frank Lloyd Wright, American Architect
If you read the introduction to this series on becoming a more effective self-editor, you know that writing and editing are two distinct processes. While many people edit as they write, you will be a better and faster writer if you separate these two processes. Similarly, editing has two phases. You must focus first on the developmental edit, which improves the structure and organization of a piece. Once the structure is sound, you can focus on the substantive edit.
"Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing."
~ Joan Didion, in an interview for The Paris Review
As discussed in the introduction to this series on becoming a more effective self-editor, writing and editing are two distinct processes. You will be a better and faster writer if you treat them as such. Similarly, editing has two phases: the developmental edit and the substantive edit.
“Writing offers us one of the rare chances in life at a do-over: to get it right and say what we meant this time. To the extent writers are able to appear any smarter or wittier than readers, it’s only because they’ve cheated by taking so much time to think up what they meant to say and refining it over days or weeks or, yes, even years, until they’ve said it as clearly and elegantly as they can.”
~ Tim Kreider, Essayist and Cartoonist
Good writing is the product of good editing. Working with a good editor is incredibly satisfying. A good editor takes your words and turns them into vehicles that convey your thoughts and ideas. A good editor takes what is clear to you and makes it clear and compelling to the reader. Here’s how you can capture some of that magic and become a better self-editor.
"I love thinking. I love coming up with great ideas. I just get excited. Sometimes if I get a big idea, I'm just like a kid, like I've found a new toy."
~ Dolly Parton, as quoted in Southern Living
To write for high-visibility publications, you must consistently identify, develop, and share insightful ideas with the publication’s readers. For many, the process of presenting new ideas month after month after month feels daunting. As someone steeped in your work, you understand the challenges and solutions within your area of expertise. That clarity and depth of understanding might lead you to underestimate the value of your knowledge, experience, and insights.
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