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What I Meant to Say Was . . .

Some people can say exactly what is on their mind. They have the ability to speak and think quickly.

I am not one of those people.

Few thoughts come out of my mouth exactly as I want them expressed. After I say something, especially in a difficult conversation, I think about what I did say and how I wished I would have said it. I revisit the scene in my head with the corrected script and imagine a better outcome.

The ability to say what I want better through editing is what I love about writing. I get a second, third, and fourth chance to say it better when I write.

Typically, I write, walk away, come back and rewrite at least once or twice before sending anything. The message is there from the beginning, but I can say it so much better after another look. I check spelling and grammar several times and read the piece aloud at least once because I often hear errors I can’t see on the computer.

We have the opportunity to write whatever is on our mind in so many ways on the internet. This is a blessing and a curse because the written word has a long life. Once published, you can’t completely correct it. If you write something you later regret or posted with glaring errors, you very well may be reminded of it the rest of your life.

The more you write, the more likely your work won’t be perfect. There will be errors. But the goal is to present your message as correctly and clearly as possible as often as possible. That can’t happen if you don’t proofread and edit. Taking the extra time to do so can make a lasting difference.

©Mary K. Doyle

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