Getting It Right

Published July 4, 2013 by M E McMahon


Writers sometimes have problems getting their words just right…few of us can look at our first draft and say, “Oh yeah, that’s’s good to go.”  We must edit and edit before our words are polished and truly say what we want them to.  Then an editor will make more revisions, some you feel are unnecessary changes and you want to fight them tooth and nail.  It can be a frustrating process, one we dread even as we start that first draft.

Thomas Jefferson, wrote one of the most important documents in United States history.  Of course, I’m referring to the Declaration Of Independence.  This document was brought before Congress for approval on July 2, 1776.  Jefferson thought it was done, it said it all and it was ready to be approved and published. Congress thought differently.  They told Jefferson that it needed a little editing. US_Declaration_of_Independence_draft_1

What?  Oh yes, they decided to let the document “lie on the table” and then proceeded to shorten it, improve on Jefferson’s sentence structure and remove unnecessary wording before they felt it was ready for approval.  They wanted to get it right.

Jefferson was “miffed” and later wrote that the revisions “mangled” his first draft but the editing done resulted in the Declaration Of Independence being one of the most important and treasured documents in United States History.

Now, although Jefferson is credited as the author of the Declaration Of Independence, John Adams actually wrote the preamble that includes the most respected words in the hearts of Americans:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Adams draft of the Preamble was approved by Congress on May 15, without revisions, but who knows how long he labored over the words until he felt he had them right?

So, while you go through that all important process of editing and revising your work, remember that you are in good company and the effort will certainly pay off in the long run.  The more you edit your work and check and double-check that the punctuation, sentence structure and overall length are the best you can get them, the less an editor will see necessary to change.  You’ll be well on the road to getting it right!

Happy Fourth Of July to all my family, friends and fellow bloggers!


17 comments on “Getting It Right

  • Great story here, sadly of all of our elected officials we have not one with the ability to match any of our founding fathers. I love history especially as it pertains to this great nation.


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