Writing Tip #6

“Let your writing breathe.”

— Michael Weaver —

The idea of "letting your writing breathe" may seem odd or unusual to some of you reading this posting. However, I have found this tip to be as valuable in the editing phase as the idea of "write first, edit later" is to the writing phase.

As someone with a technical background (engineering) I have learned to resist the temptation to "make my writing perfect" — as if I ever could. Truth be told, knowing when to stop editing and refining is just as important as editing your work in the first place.

Since editing is closely tied to the analytical process of the intellect, too much editing can quickly strip the words you've written of any depth of range or meaning. What  you end up with might be "technically correct", but it won't be much fun for anyone to read — even yourself.

By letting your writing breathe, in all of its imperfect glory, your writing will become more approachable to your readers, and that much more interesting. Before publishing Science & Perception I threw away at least eight or nine versions of manuscripts that didn't pass the boredom test.

In retrospect, these manuscripts never made it into book form because I was so focused on getting the information "correct", effectively squashing the life out of everything I wrote.

No matter what you write, there will always be critics, so have fun with your writing and let it breathe. While you're at it, don't forget to let yourself breathe as well, even if it takes the form of an occasional sigh of relief when you realize that what you've written has taken on a life of its own.