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Stop the Sabotage through Good Editing Processes

Have you ever noticed how bad we are at writing about ourselves?

Recently, I had the opportunity to provide a short bio for a pending reunion. I wanted it to be lighthearted, while covering off the main milestones in my life. As with anything that I publish, I seek a second opinion, an edit if you will.

I knew there was something that didn’t feel completely right, and almost immediately, a particular paragraph was noted as “not contributing anything”. Of course I knew that was the para I had had such difficulty with, it had moved position several times during the writing journey; but still I clung to it!

Not only was this para “not contributing” it was undermining me and for little reason. This my friends was sabotage! You may have done this to yourself in many ways and at various times in your life. Just think of how you felt about your last CV or Letter of Application.

We all know that in an interview, we have the opportunity and option to recant or edit what we are saying or answering. But when we compose our CV or Cover Letter, we have plenty of time to edit, but many don’t; this too is sabotage.

There are a range of things one can do to change this:

  • Record a reading of the piece; errors will stick out, or feel fractured.
  • Get a friend to look over it and provide recommendations.
  • Print it out and with a red or coloured felt pen mark the areas that feel clunky.

Most of us can write about things, events and places, but few talk about ourselves well. After a lifetime of reading and interviewing, even the best of us have real problems telling our own story. It is like our unconscious or subconscious mind is providing us with landmines that have been meticulously laid out in advance to ensure our failure at worst and our complete discomfort at best.

Just like we are not our best hairdresser, we are not our own best editor!


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