I just finished writing a column for the publication in which I’ve been an editor in chief back in college.
I’ve been working for this article for a month now. Planned the topic in the first week. Drafted the contents in the second week. Procrastinated in the next. Then I caught myself rushing during the last minute.
This habit never gets old.
But I’ve done it! I enjoyed writing it even. I’ve been thinking about it for a month anyway–the contents, punchlines and all.
The only problem I can see about it now is the fact that it reached 1,600 words. That’s too long for a typical column. Actually, I’ve opened my old articles in college and they’re like 800 words only. Now, it doubled.
What’s the problem with me?
Maybe, Virginia Woolf was right when she wrote:
“Read a thousand books and your words will flow like a river.”
When I’m writing, I just feel like words are coming out from all direction. I have no idea where they are coming from.
Sometimes I have a hard time finding a word then from out of the blue I utter an unknown word then when I look at the dictionary, it’s exactly the word I’m looking for. How’s that?!
This is very similar to what my mother always tell me whenever she learned that I’m writing articles that require thousand words. Mom would always comment:
“It seems like writing is so easy for you. Words flow like an opened faucet.”
She doesn’t know Virginia Woolf by the way or even her works and words.
So I hope the EIC and the layout artist would find enough space for my article. It must be a headache. But I think when it come to publications, the longer the better, because you can just cut the article. Rather than adding words just to lengthen it and eat the space.
This crucial point reminds me so much of our adviser back then who edited my works and made them sound intellectual. How I wish I could master the same skill when it comes to editing and revising. Honestly, I’m not good at it. I just literally remove words to shorten articles. But my professor…he was so good with coming up with shorter sentences with the same meaning yet heavier punch and effect.
I hope someday I learned that way of writing. That’s because right now I feel like I’m just babbling…writing gibberish.
It might go with age though. It only means I need to read more. (Still proving tita Virginia’s words.)
And at the same time, I also want to follow Tito William’s advice:
In the end, I think both Tito and Tita are always right. At least, with those words. It just need a good combination. Brevity and flow of words. 💖