I’m convinced that the secret to good writing is effective rewriting. I’m also convinced that I take it too far.
How I envy the easy, breezy, off-the-cuff writer. That’s not me. I’m a serial “tweaker.” No, I don’t mean “twerker” à la Miley Cyrus – I’m not that crude. Besides, that kind of movement from this kind of body would just be wrong. I’m talking about my habit of subjecting any writing project to an endless series of tiny adjustments.
Nothing is ever good enough for me. No piece is ever done.
It may not look it, but my posts result from a painstaking process of drafting, writing, cogitating, rewriting, mulling, rewriting, stewing, more rewriting, on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, world without end, amen.
After all that, it’s off for a final spell check and then, at long last, I’m finished. But I can’t keep my inner tweaker down:
“Maybe that “but” would read better as “however.”” tweak
“Active voice is better than passive.” tweak, tweak
“Although maybe the point of the paragraph is its very passivity.” untweak
“Still, wouldn’t it best to convey that passivity in an active way?” retweak
The only way I ever get anything posted is to sit my inner tweaker down for a stern lecture, then hit the “Publish” button while she’s distracted.
Rewriting is like making whipped cream. Whip it too little, and you have an unformed mess. Too much, and you’ve tortured it into unappetizing lumps. It takes a deft hand to strike the right balance. To produce appealing confections of light, fluffy prose, you have to whip it good.