On Friday I wrote an article about friends of mine whose baby was born at only 28 weeks (he's turning 1 tomorrow.) It was a tough story to write and a tough interview to review. There were things that I hadn't thought about for a while, things I never knew, and things that made me weep. I spent the day writing and editing and writing and editing and the article ended up being 1,600 words long - I needed it to be 800, maximum. After a very long, exhausting couple of hours, I got it down to 860 and the editor ran it.
I never appreciated how difficult it is to edit your own work when it's so personal. I didn't think I could cut anything out; there was so much I wanted to say. It was such an emotional story and I didn't want it to sound "clinical". This story had been told (relatively briefly) in two of the local papers, but I wanted to tell it from a slightly different angle. I don't know if I really managed to do that, but I'm pretty happy with it.
I just wish I could stick those 800 words back in there.