1 min read

Lemons Into Lemonade

I wasn’t thrilled with my #writual from Wednesday.  It didn’t flow, it felt confusing. I don’t think I got my ideas across.  But it was late and I was tired.  I just spent over an hour re-writing it, and to make it any better, it had to be completely re-written. That would take another couple of hours.  And the whole point of this exercise is to have fun and not let perfect be the enemy of good.  So I shipped it.

Thinking back, what did I do wrong?  What could I have done better?  It’s not something to obsess over, but could I learn any lessons?

The problem with the piece is that I started with a metaphor that was engaging.  But since the metaphor didn’t fit with the whole essay, I abandoned the metaphor and started jumping from point to point.  It made sense to me because it was my thought process, but the readers got lost without a frame of reference.  And then I slapped on my conclusions at the end.  

Lesson 1:
Have a frame of reference through the whole thing.  A story, metaphor, or theme.  This is a framework that gives readers context at any point.

Lesson 2:
Either simplify or get into the details.  If an idea is half-baked, explain it.  If you can’t explain it, cut it.  If it doesn’t matter, cut it.

Lesson 3:
Constraints are limiting, but they’re also freeing.  If I follow the first two lessons, there are things I can’t do.  But if I do follow them,  it guarantees a flow to the writing.  The reader is better off, and I’m free to play with the writing in every other way.