I asked my editor friend, Adrienne, if she would review a document I was working on. She gladly agreed and after a few days, I called her and asked how she was doing and what she thought. She said, “Rick let’s meet and you need to fish.” So we scheduled a meeting with me wondering what she meant.
When we met, she showed me her edits and revisions. They were all great, but I was curious about her “you need to fish” comment, so I asked. Adrienne proceeded to tell me a story. It went something like this.
There once was a man who owned a fish store that needed a new sign. So, he went to a sign maker who asked, “What do you what the sign to say?” The fish store owner said, “Fresh Fish Today”. To which the sign maker inquired, “So, that tells me on some days your fish isn’t fresh.” The fish store owner pondered for a moment and said, “How about ‘Fish Today’.” The sign maker replied, “So, on some days you sell something other than fish?” In frustration, the fish store owner said, “Okay, okay just make it say ‘Fish’!”
The moral of Adrienne’s story is when writing, review your document and remove any unnecessary or confusing words. Keep it simple and concise. In other words, “fish” out the words that aren’t needed.
Even though Adrienne provided me with that wisdom over 10 years ago, I continue to think “FISH!” when reviewing mine or other individual’s documents. On the project that I’m currently working, I’m often asked to “fish” a document, sentence or requirement.
Do you need to fish?
P.S. I know this blog is a little short, but I fished it!