Sat perusing the sleeve notes of the new Elbow CD I came across the following about the b-sides and rarities that make up the album: “others….. were written and recorded quickly and perhaps not fully appreciated by the band until some time afterwards”.
This reminded me of a recent conversation with a student – he was worried that his written English let him down, so he involved family and friends in the editing of his draft answers. As we talked it became clear that with each draft the prose was getting stronger but the meaning was getting lost – his helpers were all adding in their viewpoints rather than just changing his sentence structure.
I suppose that this is a trap we can all fall into, and probably the best thing to do is to write a first draft, sleep on it, improve it the next day, and then check it against your first draft to ensure it still gets the same point across.
Of course, I’m not going to follow my own advice – this is the first draft, and I’m hitting publish now.