It’s been just over a year now since I wrote and handed in my Masters dissertation. It was about the use of ingredients to colour food in fourteenth century Europe. It’s an interesting topic, or at least I think it is, and here in lies a problem most of us have with our writing.
We find that what we are writing about so interesting that at times we are too close to the subject matter to see clearly.
I started re-reading my dissertation and while it’s clear I know what I’m talking about I could have done a much better job that what I did. But I can only see that now. I couldn’t see that when I was writing it a year ago.
We all need to distance our selves from what we write in order to edit it properly, and the greatest distance is time. I know the urge to write can at times be overwhelming strong, that the frustrations of having to live can make you miserable until you manage to carve out some me time and be the writer you are in your heart, but you have to learn patience and let the distance that time can create for you be formed.
Being too close to your work can be detrimental in the long run. I’m not saying wait a year but you have to put some time between writing and editing, otherwise you will never see what your readers will: the plot holes the disjointed prose, the shoddy dialogue and the under developed character interaction.
Time can end up being the greatest tool you could ever utilise as a writer.