Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't Waste Time Agonizing Over Phrasing

Writing offers us an infinity of agonizing decisions. At my food blog Casual Kitchen, I've spent more time wording and rewording a single sentence than I've spent on the entire post containing that sentence.

Is this a good use of my time? Nope.

Okay, sure, it depends on the importance of the sentence. Your title and your lead sentence deserve extra editing time, clearly. But some sentence four paragraphs into your post deserves no more than a few minutes of decision time. Write it, let it go and move on.

The time you spend agonizing over the phrasing of a sentence is time you aren't spending writing something else. Agonizing never happens in a vacuum. It displaces other important work you could be doing.