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.
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.
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.
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.