I used to write my poems like a freestyle rap. Going with the first raw, unedited thought that came to mind and letting that be the final version. Going off the top of the head. There’s beauty in that. If you really want to resonate and give your words the chance of lasting forever though, you’ll have to rewrite. The freestyle is still an important part of the process, but only stage one.
The first draft is a beautiful mess and really it’s supposed to be. There is usually some real quality in that, you just have to dig it out. If it’s rough around the edges, your job as an editor is to smooth it out. From coarse to a finished product, without sacrificing the grit along the way. With a poem for instance the first rhyme you come up with isn’t necessarily the best one so it’s useful to put your piece through iterations.
The wordings you come up with on a rewrite can be much more poignant. More hard-hitting, straight to the point. Eliminate fluff. Cut out the empty calories and get down to the core of the meal. Put your poem through a coat of polish, bring out that shine that will leave your words tattooed on some souls. The substance is there so why not bring out all of the quality.
Bring out the magic
Your full bag of tricks. Your epic magic touch is hiding right below the surface. Access it, unlock it, maximize it. Work with it and it will work for you. Develop your idea, develop your writing and it will really show. Waving that wand through effort is the best way to work true magic and bring your creations to life.
Honor the idea
You boiled down an awesome thought or premise and based your words on it. Make sure your idea gets the best treatment you can give it. Do your idea justice by getting every last little bit out of it.
Get the most out of it
Put your best foot forward. Put your talent on display. Show them your well-worked, well-written and thought through idea. A completed paragraph not some scattered sentences. It’ll get easier every time you put one of your pieces through the editing process. You soon won’t know how you ever managed without it.