How do you know when a writing project is “finished”?
We’re not just talking about a 50,000-word book. Tweets, emails, and blogs impact our brand, our relationships, and bank account.
Have you ever hit the “Send” button, and within three nanoseconds looked for the “Un-Send” button? I’ve even had authors tell me they wanted to un-publish a book!
Let Your Words Bake
It’s a rare treat when first drafts are “ready to eat.”
This is exactly why I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, to put my writing back in the oven. Better flavor, fewer regrets, and more influence can result.
Of course, it’s different for each form of communication, each audience, and each writer.
- Tweets: Allow to simmer for 2 hours
- Facebook posts: Most tender after 4 hours
- Blog posts: Slow cook for 2 days (or freeze for months)
- Important “first contact” emails: Let them smoke for 3 days
- Sensitive email replies: To avoid burning, stir often for at least 4 hours, or 1 day if possible
- Book Proposals: Carefully measure all ingredients and cook for 3 months
- Book chapters: Bring to a boil, then “can” for 2 weeks
These recipes are not excuses for procrastination. But fast-food publishing has created more noise, and lower quality writing. I’ll admit, this is TOUGH to do!
My hope is to write fewer words, with more taste.
I’ve opened the lid on my manuscript edits after two weeks and wondered, “Who wrote this terrible mess?!”
Yeah, I’d rather post or send while I’m still intoxicated by my creativity, but I can’t tell you how often this perspective has made the difference between “forgettable” and “fruitful” communications.
What are your “cook times” for words?
What outlets give you the most trouble?
Photo Credit: Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rueful/8065286720/