You know what’s interesting?
(Whoa, there I go again. Assuming what’s interesting to me will be interesting to anybody else. Though, in truth, that is the premise of every blog post I ever wrote. Which does not make it correct. It’s just… There it is.)
I shall keep this short, on the off-chance that you couldn’t care less. (A lot of people say, “I could care less” in these situations, but they’re wrong. What they really mean is they couldn’t care less, the implication being there is nothing they could imaginably care less about than the subject at hand. In the final analysis, however, people can do what they want to. I couldn’t care less.)
A week ago Friday, I wrote a post about…what was it again?... Sometimes, I have trouble remembering what I just wrote… Oh, yeah. It was a question about why people bother being funny. But what the post was about is not the issue. The issue is the perplexing process of preparing that post.
I have mentioned this before, even once demonstrating – with examples – my procedure for rewriting a post until it felt “right.” I showed how, after the first pass, I make changes, and then continue revising subsequent drafts – though the number of changes progressively diminishes – until I am satisfied with the results, and I publish the post.
The thing is, although the number of revisions continues to decrease the more drafts I produce, not once in the, now, thirteen hundred-and-eighty posts, have I ever been confronted by a draft that required no revisions whatsoever.
Even in my final pass, I find missed typos. I adjust punctuation for greater clarity. I upgrade my descriptives. I revert back to passages I attempted to improve but, instead, I made worse. I revisit the dreaded italics, thinking and re-thinking the “when’s” and “where’s.”
Inevitably, I discover things I still want to improve. In last Friday’s post, I made twenty changes in my final pass.
The question then is,
If on my final pass before publishing, I find twenty things in there to change, why don’t I continue rewriting until there aren’t any?
Close to five-and-a-half years of blog writing. And in every draft, I find something to revise.
The last pass last Friday, I found twenty ways to make it better.
Why then did I stop?