It’s all too easy to mythologise the hard work that goes into writing when you’ve spilt blood, and pushed artistic sinews to the limit in creating something! I’ve done my fair share of that too. But I’ve come to realise that writing isn’t so hard after all.
Bear with me here …
Getting the words out in some comprehensible way should be relatively easy when you’ve got something interesting to say. You can practically speak your words onto the page, unfettered and unfiltered and they’ll still tell a story.
The problem, I think, is that the writing process has a lot of difficult bits attached to it. And most of them are called editing!
There is no bad writing, just bad editing
I’ve worked with a lot of people with wonderful stories to tell who haven’t been able to tell their story for fear of ‘doing it badly’. They’ve felt so stymied by the need to write something perfect that they haven’t been able to write anything at all.
What a waste.
I think that, if you’ve got the story, or the lived experience, then telling your story should be as simple as getting it all onto the page as quickly as you can. If you can do that, an editor can help you take care of the rest.
How easy would writing be if you didn’t have to worry about writing perfectly?
Alright, so I was being disingenuous before. Of course, writing is hard. It’s a long, lonely business, and it takes boundless conviction and limitless commitment. That’s the right kind of hard work; it’s hard going because it’s taxing you in the right way.
But if you feel like you’re always searching for the next word, or you can’t get your story to fit into the right shape, then that’s the wrong kind of hard work. The good news: it’s not the kind of work you have to do alone. It’s the sort of crafting that an editor can help you with.
Your story is uniquely yours, and no one else can tell it. But an editor can help you tell it in the right way.
Just imagine sitting down to write, without any sense of fear. You don’t have to worry about getting every word quite right. You don’t have to worry about punctuation. You don’t even have to labour at tying everything together in the right order.
You know that your editor can take the raw stuff of your story, give it shape and structure, and make it work.
That’s what I mean when I say that writing should be easy. And with an editor on board, it really can be that easy.
If you’ve got a story worth telling, let’s tell it …
Your editor can work with you in any way to suit you. Whether you need a lot of editorial intervention or just a little, your editor will tailor their approach to fit. If you want support from the start, they can give it. If you want your editor to take the bare bones of your story and reshape it, they can.
But more than any of that, your editor will give you back the sheer joy in being able to tell your story.