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Six words

So, I turned in a piece to an editor a little while back. It was 800 words that I’d slaved over and polished. I’d been in contact with multiple PR firms, done my research and hammered everything into shape.

The editor was chuffed. “I love it!” quoth he, “This is a great article!”

A couple or three weeks later, I got to see the piece in print under my byline. 794 words had been replaced, leaving just six of my own. Admittedly, a very quotable six words.

I wouldn’t have recognized the article if it hadn’t had my name on it. Pretty much everything about it had changed.

I fretted about that for a few minutes, wondering what would have happened if the editor hadn’t loved the article.

And then one thought occurred to me, “At least I got paid!”

I smiled, and started writing another piece.

It was about then that I realized that I’d essentially arrived as a professional writer. Whatever guff might appear under your byline, you’re putting food on the table and paying the mortgage. You’re doing the job you’re being paid for.

And sometimes you get more than six of your own words through the mill and out the other side – well, that’s just a bonus, really.

Categories: Opinion, Writing.

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