On Writing and editing

I’ve volunteered to write something for another blogger.  Someone who actually gets paid to be a blog writer. It’s, like, his job.  No pressure, right?

The challenge is to write about something specific that I did last year, gather quotes from others who did the same thing, and keep it under 800 words.  For someone who likes to talk, and to write, that’s a challenge.  800 words isn’t really that much.  The piece that I wrote on my own, without the quotes, climbed pretty close to 800 words.

I’m now at about 1300 words. Oops.

So I sit here, staring at the screen trying to figure out how to cut and edit, shave and shape, the work.  Funny thing is, I remember writing almost 8 years ago on another blog about how writing and editing is like forging a knife from steel.  There’s a delicate balance of what you want to edit and change.  If you remove too much, it changes the shape of the blade and becomes something different.  If you don’t remove enough, the blade is dull and ineffective.

Sadly, I can’t find that piece I wrote.  The blog isn’t there any more and I didn’t save it on my own.  I was hoping it would inspire me.

Here I sit, staring at the screen, looking for that elusive inspiration.  I could edit the quotes, but I’m even more hesitant to audit someone else’s thoughts.  I’m great at proofreading and finding errors, but I’m not a fan of copyediting.

I’m tempted to let him edit the rest – shave off those 500 extraneous words and get it to something more concise and to the point.  And I’ll probably post my original one here, without the other quotes.

Until then, I’ll just sit here and stare at the screen….

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