Rewriting Made Bearable

From Microsoft Clipart
Does this look like you? Then back away from the rewrite.

While I was out for lunch with a friend on Monday, a message plopped into my e-mail.   One of my editors wanted a rewrite.  I glanced through her letter and realized it was long.  This was going to be major.  But I realized something else too.

I was in and out of my home office all day Monday dealing with this, that and the other thing.  I knew I just didn’t have the wattage to tackle this.  So I clicked the message shut and went to something else.

In a rush?  Or just had a crap-tastic day?  Then do not read the rewrite request. Close it.  It will still be there when you are fresh.  Seriously.

Drop your editor a quick note.  “I’ll be happy to rewrite but am (just leaving the office/getting ready for a conference call/going to Borneo.  I’ll give your comments the attention they deserve when I am back at my desk.  Thank you for your confidence in me.” Something along those lines.

Go for a walk.  Get a good night’s rest.  Do whatever it takes to charge your batteries.

Read the letter and then close it again.  Do not begin to rewrite.  Do something else.  Let things jell.

Reread the letter.  Does it still say what you thought it did the first time?  Good, then you are ready to rewrite.  If you answered “no,” then repeat steps 3 and 4 until the answer is yes and then proceed.

Seriously, these steps will save you time and strife.