Save yourself the trouble – don’t make trivial changes to the written word

In high school I remember being told to start any paper as a draft. And to constantly revise it.

If memory serves, we submitted draft after draft before submitting a final paper.

And why not? It’s easy to make changes.

But, that doesn’t mean those changes are worth while. And more often than not they’re trivial changes at best. Sometimes they make things worse.

I’ve submitted many articles in my professional career. Sometimes, without an iota of feedback. Sometimes, seemingly nonstop back and forth. Looking back at the changes, rarely did they materially impact the final result.

When I’m not submitting articles, for example when writing a blog post. I feel the need to reword and rework my writing.

It’s a struggle for perfection when all I care about is getting the point across, and hopefully helping someone.

Fortunately, I’m cognizant of this tendency to endlessly tweak the written word. My rule of thumb now: if it’s a trivial change I won’t make it.

If you spend any amount of time with the written word, may I suggest the same to you. Never make a change that doesn’t materially improve your message. There’s always a different word you could’ve used. There’s always a different way to phrase things. Who cares!

And, refuse to make trivial changes when others ask. Most of the time people give feedback merely because you asked for it, or they feel obliged. They rarely give it because it’s necessary.