The title of this post is a metaphor. Can you guess for what? If you said editing, you must be a regular reader of this blog. I spent a part of my morning yesterday thinning peaches, and then I spent my afternoon “thinning peaches.”
Before we moved to this house, a previous owner had planted one dwarf peach tree in the backyard. I don’t know when, but it was already fruit-bearing when I inherited it. This is my first peach, so I had no experience caring for one.
The first spring we lived here, a woman more knowledgeable than I stood next to it and, while we talked, she reached over and started pulling off some of the cute baby peaches. From the look on my face, she rightly deduced that I had no experience with growing stone fruits and explained her action.
As you can see from the photo, cute baby peaches are born in litters. You can leave them all on the tree and end up with a lot of dinky, deformed peaches or you can thin them out and end up with a smaller harvest of beautiful, juicy, baseball-sized peaches. Your choice.
The principle behind editing your writing is the same as in thinning peaches. You want to rid your work of the “extras” so they don’t suck up all the energy meant for the few. Make no mistake, it’s hard work, but if you expend the effort, your remaining words have a chance to become luscious.
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