Hi! I'm Joe, and I'm a writer.

Spring cleaning for writers

Published almost 2 years ago • 2 min read

Hey Reader,

We had an organizer come today.

First, he had us take everything out of our closets. I found clothes I bought 15+ years ago, shoes in trash bags that I hadn't worn in years, kid's toys missing half their pieces, and a few things that I'd been looking for for months.

Then, we purged. I filled up three trashbags and four piles for a garage sale.

Finally, he helped us put everything left over back. My closet is the cleanest it's been since we first moved in, and actually a kind of nice to look at.

It took two hours. One of the best lifestyle transformations you can make in terms of efficiency.

The same process can be applied to your writing.

First, read your writing without editing, ideally out-loud. Notice the sentences you forgot you wrote, the awkward phrasings, the half-finished thoughts, the parts that are great and the parts that aren't.

Then, sort everything into three piles, highlighting them in different colors:

  1. What can be cut.
  2. What can be rewritten.
  3. What can go back into the draft.

Then, cut what can be cut. Rewrite what can be rewritten. Put what's left back in the draft, ideally in a now neater, more organized way.

It might take more two hours on a Saturday morning.

This is the real work of writing though, and it will change your life. Or at least the life of your piece.

Happy editing!

This Week in Photos

The one photo I truly want to share with you I don't have permission. This week, a writing project that I worked on for a non-profit is being set up as a display in the Vatican Museum! Even more, they presented it first to His Holiness, the Pope, himself! And the picture I cannot share is of him reading said writing piece. Pretty crazy right? Never in my life would I have thought my writing would be read by the Pope. It's been a pretty cool week!

Now for the things I'd rather not share, but are relevant for the story above.

First, the fruit of much closet labor. Yes, I know it's dusty. Yes, I know the shoes are not neatly lined up. Yes, that is my son's little toy drone (he lost it for one reason or another), and yes, it does make me uncomfortable to share this secret look inside my closet. Just trust me, okay, it was so much worse before.
Last embarrassing photo of the week. This is a storage area in my garage containing everything for our garage sale. It's mortifying. Why do we do this to ourselves. I'm going to become a monk and get rid of everything I own. Humiliating. (Also, you see why we need a professional, right?)

Alright folks, that's it from me. Have a great weekend, and see you soon.


P.S. When was the last time you purged your messy closet? How did it go? Hit reply and share your story!

Hi! I'm Joe, and I'm a writer.

If we haven't met, my name is Joe Bunting, and I'm a Wall Street Journal Best-selling writer, dad, the founder of The Write Practice, and the author of Crowdsourcing Paris. I've also been known to cry in every movie. In my newsletter, I share tips about the writing process and the business of being a writer. Sign up to get free emails about creativity, deliberate practice, and the writing process.

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