“To write is human, to edit is divine.”–Stephen King
Writing is one thing, editing on its own is another thing. They’re both daunting task. You must write first before you can edit. They work hand-in-hand. Editing makes your writing beautiful. It helps you to clarify the message you’re trying to convey. The hardest part of writing is editing. And that’s why King said that it’s divine, because it takes extra eyes to see one’s errors sometimes.
Most writers edit their writing the next day or after a long walk so that they can look their writing with fresh eyes. Editing is hard work just like writing and one must not play with it. A poorly edited writing always bores the readers to tears. Don’t disappoint your readers. Find someone who can edit your work for you or learn how to do it. A friend once said that editing is chores and I agree with him. It takes more of one’s energy and time. It takes being brutal and kill some words on the page. Some words would scream, don’t remove me but for the sake of good writing and brevity you shoot them with one “backspace” bullet.
In order to have a fine piece, you need to take your time and remove all the clutter in your writing. Doing this, will make your writing simple and easy to read. Remember, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” –Nathaniel Hawthorne
I’m an addict. Not the one you’re thinking. Not a drug addict. Far from it. So free your mind from bad thoughts. It’s a behavioral addiction, actually. I think we’re all addicted to something. Some are addicted to drinking coffee, some to movies, some to smoking, some to sex and so on. I’m addicted to clicking links or simply put surfing the net. Some people will call it internet addict. I agree with them. I click links from Twitter, Facebook and even do some Google search as usual all day. Sometimes my laptop stays on for days. This is crazy. I want to know what’s new, what’s going on with the world, I just want to click and read, and this is terrible. It makes one less productive sometimes. One feels that something is missing within oneself if one does not click and read.
Two months ago, I was at the airport on my way to Warsaw, Poland, waiting for my flight to arrive. While waiting, I saw an old woman reading a book. I love seeing people reading. I watched her carefully while she turned the page of the book smiling and nodding in agreement and I was like, “Wow, I want my readers to turn the page of my book, but I’ve never written one.”
You see, maybe you and I are the same. We have good ideas for writing a book, but we won’t start. Maybe I’m even stronger by starting, but that’s not enough if I don’t finish writing it. Nobody will nod in agreement with a book sitting in your head or with a book still living in a file on your PC.
Writing a book is a daunting task. Sure, it takes time and energy, but one must start somewhere. If you’re not determined enough, you won’t make it happen. You need to fight Resistance and do things that matter.
“You can do anything but not everything.” –David Allen
I told my brother this quote more than 5 times last week when we were talking on the phone. My inspiring cap was on as usual, so I wanted him to pick my brain for a while. I told him stories about when we were young and what we did on our own. I told him about a guy in our street then who, we thought was a gymnastic guru. He would do a lot of stunt for us and we were like this guy must brought this from heaven or maybe he possessed a black magic.
Photo Credit: Sherrys Soiledwings via flickr.com
These were our thoughts until we decided to give it a try. We were scared. We had injuries and yet, we learned it and surpassed the so called gymnastic guru. “So why are we so afraid to take new adventures now as adolescent?” I asked my brother. We explored many scary adventures as kids and now…nothing. We’ve forgotten that we can learn anything if we want to and we can do anything if we believe in ourselves. The society has taught us something else and succeeded in telling us what we can do and what we can’t. There’s expectation of what the society needs, so we stick with the society’s needs and abandon our own dreams for the society.
The hall was full of laughter. First, from the audience and later from the panel of judges. It was a contest for a talent hunt. This was not a comedy show, but yet, everybody was laughing. They were laughing at a guy’s performance on the stage. His performance was so poor that people in the hall couldn’t help themselves but to laugh. They laughed to their satisfaction. Some people even booed him. They hadn’t seen this kind of poor performance in a long time.
The guy was humiliated and walked out of the hall stealthily. The audience and the judges only saw this guy’s mediocre performance but never saw one thing in him which is courage. The courage to show up on the stage. The courage to give it a try. The courage to say, “This is what I’ve to offer.” How many of you have this super-duper talent in you, but was afraid of being humiliated? Afraid of being booed on the stage?
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” –William Shakespeare
First of all, I don’t believe in stars. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that they exist, but I don’t believe that they have something to do with our failures and successes. However, I believe that the stars are adornment to the sky and guidance to the travelers at night.
The stars have nothing to do with our successes and failures. There’s no fault in the stars. They’re created perfect and meant for a different purpose. They’re not connected to man’s glory and downfall. They exist to glitter, shine, gleam and beautify the earth. Some people have mistakenly taken the stars as the divine plan. They’re not the same. I believe in predestination. I believe that we’re all living according to a divine plan. Predestination is always perfect. It’s void of error. However, man is given the freedom to choose between good and evil (to pursue his own endeavor whether good or bad).
Last year, I once wrote on my Twitter bio that I am an aspiring writer who write stories. And then this guy, Ajala Yemi, the author of NYSC: Now Your Suffering Continues, mentioned me in a tweet like this: “uncle @moabsophy remove “aspiring” from your bio. It’s either you write or you don’t.”
That simple mention changed everything. I was scared to call myself a writer. I thought ‘aspiring writer’ would fit in the circle so that people won’t criticize me for my mistakes and errors. After all, I’m just an aspiring writer. I think many people hide in this cocoon called aspiring. Aspiration is a wish or hope or desire but if you’re actually doing the work, then you’re no more aspiring. If you write, then you’re a writer. It doesn’t mean you have to get published. It means putting pen to paper. Every day.