Stephen king says that when he was first writing, his editor would tell him, “The second draft is the first draft minus 10%.”
I have found this to be true as well.
– When I wrote Zero to Sixty, it was 55,000 words. After the editing process, it was 50,000 words 🙂
– I have to ruthlessly cut my message back by at least 10% to keep them within my allotted timeframe.
– When I do copywriting projects, a 4 page sales letter becomes a 3 1/2 page sales letter after the second draft.
Here’s the point: when you cut, you rarely lose the essence of what you’re saying. Instead, you’re simply reducing it down like a stew.
It’s like that quote by Winston Churchill, “Give me a week to prepare and I’ll speak for an hour. Give me an hour to prepare and I’ll speak f or a week.”
Editing is the hardest thing to do because it feels like cutting off one of your toes. But it is absolutely necessary is we want to communicate with excellence.