When I was asked to write a blog post for my organisation's blog, I put on my most cerebral cap and tried to come up with a definitive thesis on the state of primary education in India. After six abortive attempts (spread over seven days) to go beyond the first paragraph, I decided to quit attempting to be someone else, and just be myself. Half an hour later, I had a 'straight from the heart' story of an amazing girl who couldn't even write her name at 9, but who, after the timely intervention of a local charity, became the first in her family to graduate from high school. I thought my job was done after I proof read the post, corrected a few minor typos, and sent it off with a bunch of accompanying photographs.
"But this is the best part of the whole post", I often wanted to scream. "If I take it out, there would be nothing left." I am, however, a professional and I always listen to other professionals, so I soldiered on.
Editing the post took three times as much time as writing it had done. But when I re-read it after I was done, I was in for a very pleasant surprise - the new post was much better than the first draft had been. The parts I had been asked to take out would not have made sense to someone who did know know me and my writing style- the post that ultimately went up was accessible to everyone.
I have always shied away from the editing process- I now realise that even if it is as painful as a root-canal treatment, it is also as necessary.
And if you do want to read the blog post, click onto From a Construction Site to a Courtroom.