Last month, I was talking with a storyteller after a show. His story was delightful and I really enjoyed it, yet something was missing, I felt. I wondered why. While we were chatting, I found out he didn’t edit his writing. Aha! That’s why! His presence and delivery were phenomenal. I may never be able to reach his level even if I try my hardest. His performance was great as is, but I thought his story fell short compared to his strengths.
Writing is important, but it’s just a starting point, not a goal. Don’t stop there.
American novelist and non-fiction writer Anne Lamott says:
Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair. That’s the secret of life. That’s probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it. They do it by prearrangement with themselves. They do it as a debt of honor. They tell stories that come through them one day at a time, little by little.
So true! Don’t underestimate the power of editing. Editing is essential. Go back to your story a few hours or even days later, read it out loud, and edit. Your story deserves more than the first draft.