Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Take it easy, bro."

I was horrified when I saw this sentence appear in my first draft. The word 'horrified' doesn't even come close to describing how shocked and shameful I felt. The second I got to reading "Take it easy, bro." I was like:

WHAT?! 
DID I ACTUALLY WRITE THAT DOWN? 
WAS I DRUNK?
Excuse me, I think I'm gonna puke. 

I mean, seriously. "Bro"?!! What the hell was I thinking?  

Exactly, I wasn't. I was writing but not with clear thinking. I just wrote down whatever came out on my mind (actually, even this reason still can't justify the fact that I note that sentence down in the first place because by god, that is one of the lamest sentences ever!) and when we do, sometimes we become blind of judging our own writing. This is what happens with first drafts. This is why almost all of our first drafts are shits, no matter how experienced, how gifted and how good we are as writers.

Who would have thought editing was this crucial? I didn't. I have written a number of essays, articles for web contents, short stories, lyrical poems and throughout all these writing, I didn't see editing as something as crucial until I come across this first draft of mine. Obviously, it was wiser to read through the essays before submitting them, but the amount of revising necessary was nothing compared to the changes I had to make for this very long story of mine. Editing is crucial because when we write with so much emotion inside of us, we become like little kids running around at rooftops, not knowing the danger of falling over the edge. They won't realize it as long as they stayed ON the rooftop, unwilling to STEP DOWN and STEP OUTSIDE the building to look at how high it actually is from the ground. This is what writers do, a lot of times.

photo credit: flickr.com
We stay on the rooftops because it's much more comforting than stepping down and realizing how life-threatening the height is. We stay drunk in our stories because it's much more comforting than stepping out of our first drafts and realizing how crappy our writing is. I'm not saying all writers will write crappy first drafts, even though most of them will (probably 99% of all writers in the world), but there will always be these sloppy parts that bring the entire writing piece down to such low levels that you do want to fix it before you show it to the rest of the world. This is why editing is so crucial and rewriting is essential. It may not be as life-threatening as falling from the rooftops, but when readers found the sloppy parts before you, it will be a humiliating moment for you as a writer.

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