Business is slow on the LCS Writes front this month, so I put myself on sale (ten percent off the price of a writing job, and/or ten percent from the final bill, to be paid to anyone who refers a new client that results in a project in April. How is that for blatant solicitation?) Anyway, as a result, other than trying to drum up business, I have time to work on the creative pieces that I’m trying to write, which leads me to today’s topic.
A year ago, as I shifted in my chair and coped with my only dose of unemployment in almost 30 years, I made Middle Passages my job. After dropping our daughter off at school, I cracked my knuckles and sat down to the computer to craft a daily essay. After say, several hours, I’d walk away, returning later to edit the you-know-what-out of the piece before clicking on “publish.” I had, as it were, the luxury of time.
Now that I have work--sporadic though it may be--and volunteering, and other projects that interest me too, sometimes Middle Passages suffers, and to be perfectly honest, I crammed my post in yesterday. It may have sounded like the life of leisure amid my two walks, but with no paying work on the immediate horizon, I directed myself elsewhere between strolls, spending several hours at the library where I focused on the um, less lucrative side of my writing life. Then, since I had a networking phone call scheduled for after supper, I wanted Middle Passages off my mind before we ate, and, well, I rushed.
Here’s what I want to say today folks. No matter what, take a break from your writing so you can come back and read it with fresh eyes. Yesterday’s post struggled with run-on sentences, misplaced and missing commas, extraneous words, and a general lack of flow. Truth be told, I was slightly horrified with myself this morning. If you read it now, I think I’ve fixed most of it. But sheesh, what a reminder.
Today’s lesson: if you hurry to publish a blog post, a story, a letter, a memo, an email, a poem, a book, you are going to miss things.
As a high-scoring champion in a check-off-the-to-do-list world, I live with a compulsion to get things done that gets me in trouble some times. Yesterday’s post was a case in point. So take it from me. Walk away. Peel some potatoes. Think of other projects. Go for a run. Conduct the networking call. Whatever. Get the piece out of your mind so you can read it later with an objective view. Then see what you find. I promise, your delay will serve to improve things.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, I walked away from this one twice.
Did you ever wish you didn’t press publish, or send?