Tell It Again

You know that feeling when you’re talking with someone and you say something you wish you hadn’t? I do. I can’t always organize my thoughts and feelings quickly enough to meet the demands of a conversation, especially an important conversation that triggers my emotions.

When we speak, we tell something, but if we want to revise what we said, we can only add, hoping the cumulative effect will equal what we really mean to say.

When we write, however, we gain the advantage of revision. Privately, as we write, we go through as many do-overs as we need to, without having to locate a time machine so that we can unspeak what we’ve already spoken.

When writing, we have the option of telling it, then telling it again better, then sharing.

So if you tell the first draft to the page, if you get your thoughts and feelings down in some form, remember writing’s advantage and see if you can tell it again better.

Keep telling it again better – more like yourself, more inclusive of bits you like, more like your vision of the final version – until you feel good about sharing what you’ve made.

First drafts are curious blunders yearning for second chances. Have a heart. Give your drafts a chance to tell it better so that they can make a confident impression when they go out in the world to converse.


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