The first draft of any decent article I write and share with people is typically linguistically bloated, rife with typos, and needs substantial edits. It's because I tend to spill everything I'm thinking about onto the page and see what ideas land where before I really decide what I want to say.
It's sort of like the writer's version of throwing a pot of spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks—it's a lot of fun at first, but it leaves a big mess for you to clean up if you don't have a strategy for making the spaghetti stick.
So after that initial feeling of joy and inspiration that comes with writing everything you want to write on the page starts to wear off, the real work of the writer begins. Now it's time to clean up and edit the first draft. I start to remove the needless words and sentences, correct any misspellings or grammatical errors, make sure there's a good rhythm to what I'm reading, and I organize each thought in such a way that it makes sense and is engaging, until I can read the entire article through, nod my head, feel that feeling in my gut, and finally say: that's it.
As I was reading Essentialism today—which is a book you should read—I was reminded of how important it is to take the discipline of editing and use those principles to edit our lives. That is to say, to take a serious look at our lives and decide what is needed and what is not, and cut all that is not needed; to assess each rhythm, each decision, and each structure in our life, until we are able to nod our heads, feel that feeling in our guts, and then say: that's it.
We can choose to have bloated, burdened, chaotic, and draining lives if we want to.
Or we can chose to edit our lives and have them become clean, lean, productive, and fulfilling.
So what will it be? Will you leave your life in first draft form forever? Or will you edit your life?