Write it All THEN Edit Ruthlessly!

Edit RuthlesslyI used to watch a TV show called Clean Sweep. It always started with a room in complete disarray with so much clutter that you couldn’t see anything. It always ended with a beautiful room featuring a few prized possessions that had formerly been hidden in the clutter.

In the middle, the expert organizer, Peter Walsh*, had to be ruthless to help the homeowners let go of all of the unimportant “stuff”. It was always painful, but in the end, it was so worth it.

In writing life stories or family histories, I find it’s helpful to include all sorts of stories and tidbits related to the goal of my project. However, I am always aware that there will be a “clean sweep” at some point.

It can be hard when you have spent hours crafting the perfect paragraph and later realize it doesn’t add anything to the story… But it’s important to make sure the message isn’t lost in the “clutter”. Be ruthless! In the end, it will be so worth it!

All the best,

Val B.

P.S. The good news is that, unlike the TV families, we can copy and paste our “clutter” and our perfect paragraphs into another document just in case it fits the next memoir! If you are thinking about writing more than one book or if you need a tool to help get you organized, try Scrivener*. It’s the software I purchased and use for writing projects that need even more flexibility than MemoirWorkbook.com. It has a 30-Day free trial and the best part is that it only counts on the days you actually use it.

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