In the last two weeks we’ve talked about how you actually *are* a writer. How you *do* have a story to write. And how first you need to let yourself *just write* without worrying if it’s *just right* or not.

Now it’s time to talk about editing.

Because writing, like eating chocolate, can become self-indulgent. Discipline is just as good for writers as it is for tired moms who like to keep a stash of Peppermint Pattys in the freezer at all times. Yes, the freezer. You’re welcome.

So, here’s the thing – go for it. Write with wild abandon.

And then give yourself some time to cool. Eat a Peppermint Patty or two or five.

Then come back to that writing you love, those words you just birthed, that image you adore and -listen to me here – be ruthless.

Just because you love it doesn’t mean it gets to stay. It needs to serve a purpose. That phrase, that paragraph, that image needs to work. It needs to serve your story and your reader and it doesn’t get a break just because it’s pretty or it took you two days to come up with it.

If it doesn’t work, cut it.

Ruthless, y’all. Ruthless.

Now, what do you do with the pretties you sacrifice to the high and noble end of a tight, beautiful, disciplined piece of prose? Come back tomorrow for that.
::

I’m spending 31 days writing about how to write your story.
It’s part of the 31 Days Challenge hosted by the Nester.
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