Distillation

Writing is distillation.

It’s the act of taking something watered down and purifying it into something more potent. Something that has the ability to make you tipsy, to lower your inhibitions, to bring out the animal in you.

It’s a process that takes time. But it’s a process that I love.

All writing begins as an idea, steeped in the mind then left to germinate. It is discussed in length and digested, fermenting slowly until it bubbles over, ready to be turned into something real.

This first part is where the art is — choosing the individual elements that will go into the mix, turning it over and over, perhaps deciding what initial critiques to accept and which to discard, making sure the idea stays alive, stays bubbling.

The second part — distillation — is more technical. It’s about taking the core of the idea, pushing it to its boiling point and extracting it from the rest of what doesn’t matter.

Then doing it again, and again until what you have left is the heart of that initial idea, at its ideal strength, with all its nuance and flavours.

You release it into the world, and hope that it will make someone happy, perhaps make someone cry. That if nothing else, perhaps it will start a conversation.

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