Thoughts for your Tea: Drafts

As a person who has spent 20 years in school and university, getting out and joining the workforce was something I was looking forward to. A new adventure, a new crowd, a new chapter.
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I couldn’t ask for a better job. As a little girl all I wanted was to work in a magazine and here I am, working for one of the best  publishers in the country. All my efforts-from high school to freelancing- was always about getting me to this spot. And now I’m here.
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It was like I deserved a pat on the back but I knew very well that I only had one foot in the door and a long, long way to go.
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A week into my dream job and here’s what I’ve learned.
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Being given my first article, you can probably assume that I eager-beavered my way to writing it. Every word, every sentence, every thought. As I passed it to my editor, I could remember telling myself, “You did well, kid. You did well. Here’s to one of many.”
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I poured my heart out into making that article and as it found it’s way back to me-it was bleeding red.
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Suddenly, all the stars on my CV started to turn into question marks. All the competitions I’ve joined, all the freelance works I’ve done, everything. Everything I’ve worked on to build my so-called “career” was now just ink stains on paper.
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I started asking myself, was I chasing the wrong dream all this time? Was I a horrible writer? Maybe I’m not meant to write. Before I continued this line of thinking I stopped, breathed and realized something important.
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I was flinching. I flinched on falling in my very first article. I was about to let that mistake dictate what I was and who I was going to be: a mistake.
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It wasn’t that I wasn’t good, it was that they were great and I knew that to get to that level of greatness I had to do one thing: sit down, edit, and revise. Okay, maybe three things to do.
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You see, here’s what I’ve learned from my first week: We are all drafts and we’ll only get better if we let ourselves be edited.
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Like any first draft, we need to be trimmed, rephrased, polished… fixed. All of those take time and effort.-and a whole bucketload of humility.
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But that was the beauty of editing, you get to reinvent a mistake. And it takes a lot of humility to reedit yourself but you have to do this for the rest of your life. You always have to review your work and edit what’s wrong with it. Settling with what you have is not an option.
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No one really sees the first draft of an article, you see the God-knows-what version when you read that glossy magazine. It takes blood, sweat, tears, coffee, and a number of Word file versions named Article1,Article2, Article2.5, Article 6.
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So edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. Don’t stop. People are there to tell you what you have to edit, it’s a matter of pressing that backspace button- erasing the bad- and hitting the keyboard’s letters fill your story with the right words. Remember, you’re a draft and drafts get better in time and effort.
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As I end this note, you will be reading the 99th post in my blog. Obviously, I have something special set for the 100th.
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Much Love & More Editing,
LMTP.
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