"Kill all your darlings"

"Kill all your darlings"

As the late Jimmy Durante used to moan, “Everybody’s trying t’ git into the act!”

Jason over at 37 Signals was having lunch with some editors from a local weekly newspaper. (Gee, I heard they were all extinct.) 😉

He realized that all of them were “editors.” They just edit different stuff.

“They edit articles, we edit software.We prune it. We clip off the extra features like they clip off the extra words. We trim the interface like they trim a sentence.”

But then he got down to the heart of the matter:

“The editing process is what makes a great product… It’s not about designing or writing or coding, it’s about trimming those weeds back before they ruin the lawn.”

Keep that in mind when you’re struggling to improve your copy to attract customers. Whip out the weed whacker and cut out the crap.

Good editing means you’re willing to “kill all your darlings” — all those poetic phrases or clever alliteration that don’t add anything, don’t advance the story, or help you make the sale. You might still love them, but when they gotta go, they’ve gotta go.

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