Whenever I work with new authors, they’re eager and excited. And almost always they want to focus on how they did—whether the structure they used works and how well it “flows.”
But what I find almost 100% of the time is that first, they need help hearing what they said. And without exception, it’s surprising to them to realize what I’m hearing.
We think editing is a matter of mechanics. What we find is, it’s mostly about relevance and authenticity.
More than structure, we need to hear how we sound beyond our own heads.
Picture a singer too focused on all the other instruments to hear what his voice is contributing. Picture a painter thinking only of a person’s shape without perspective and the play of shadow and light on skin.
Language is magic. We don’t control it without patient work. And even then…
Are you open to hearing what you haven’t yet heard?
How else would we expect to learn to affect others with what’s in our minds and hearts that hasn’t yet been said?