Write Hot, Edit Cold

Many moons ago I had a copywriting professor that said, “write hot, edit cold” in the moment, that’s where the magic happens.  You’re not concerned about if something sounds odd or if a comma is missing. The juices are flowing and you just let it go. Then, once its all out of your head and on the page, walk away.  Get a coffee, do some laundry, have a beer (whatever strikes your fancy) and then come back. Its upon your return to the writing that the real work begins.

Once you’re out of the college bubble, things move fast and often the luxury of writing hot and editing cold is just that, a luxury.  Work requires fast turn around with sharp deadlines and parenting is an in the moment kind of job. You can’t wait to explain why jumping off the couch is a bad idea until after you’ve mulled it over a latte.  Its just not effective and if we’re being real…5 other dangerous things will have probably happened between now and then.

The concept is good though.  Get the emotion out, then add the polish.  In these fast times it almost needs to happen instantaneously and when you can harness that power, you will be unstoppable.  As a parent, professional, spouse, etc.

In my recent late night Facebook scrolling I found a Buzzfeed article, 14 Tweets about Passive Agressive Emails at Work and while I could 100% relate, I cringed with each tweet I read.  We’ve been there and thought – or sent – some of those emails. In the end though, it’s a short term feel good that sacrifices long term success.  Keep it up and you’ll brand yourself as the snarky person that people don’t enjoy working with. Maybe its my years in agency client services, but when you help others look good, it returns to you.  The gratitude builds over time as a solid foundation of trust and partnership. So write that snarky response in your head if you must then take a breath and respond with that attachment again, give the benefit of the doubt and move on.

Leaving the desk behind and thinking about our kids – parenting is an emotional rollercoaster.  One minute you’re celebrating milestones the next you’re squeezing them after a near miss with the coffee table. Lately, I’ve been balancing the, “don’t go to work mommy” conversation and learned how you address that is vital.  If your gut reaction is, “I know honey, I don’t want to go either” or “I don’t like working,” while honest some days it does not set us or our children up for a good relationship with our careers and how it relates to our home life.  

Taking a breath and explaining that, “I have to go baby, mommy has big things she’s working on, we’ll catch up on our days later” validates the need to leave and shows our children there is life beyond their 2500 sq feet. Some people might think explaining this to a 2-year old is futile, but when I call to say I’m on my way home each night J asks, “how your day was mommy?” and we share what we did.  Taking the time to respond with facts, even to our little ones can open the door to understanding and broaden their view.

Kids are always listening even when the conversation isn’t with them. Its evident in J’s catch phrases and what he decides to bring up in conversation.  All the more reason to keep that write hot, edit cold machine running at all times, and soon you won’t even need to take that extra breath. At the end of the day, let’s be kind to each other and keep working to raise good humans.


Erin Kasch

Erin is a Professional. Wife. Mother. She’s driven by her family, friends and a desire to put good out into the world. On the occasion that she has more than a minute to spare between work, momming and meal prep Erin likes to sew, bake and think about what would look great with a coat of chalk paint (she has yet to complete a single project).