Have you ever had a pot on the stove full of ingredients, so full that it is even difficult to stir them in together, simmering gently for a couple of hours, only to end up serving a dish which doesn’t taste the way you’d hoped? Not that it’s bad or inedible, but you know you could do better- much better.
Writing is like the pot of stew in question. All these ideas (your ingredients) can be washed and chopped, into small or large chunks, mixed or kept apart, until you know what you need to put in there for the first mix in the pot. Then you light the fire, you actually start writing your first draft. It takes a while, but the pot heats up and the ingredients simmer and cook, the page starts to smell delicious.
You put the lid on, having completed your first draft. Once in a while, you take off the lid and stir gently, rereading your draft. Then comes the crucial moment, no stew is complete without the necessary herbs and spices, you begin the rewrite. Put the herbs and spices in too early and you loose some of the flavors or have too musky a flavor, so timing is important, rewriting needs these herbs and spices, but in the right dosages and in the right moments.
The presence of appropriate flavors is an art in good food but the right balance of flavors is an art in exceptional food. If you want your writing to be exceptional, you will need to rewrite it over as many times as needed. Experience will teach you what ingredients or herbs and spices to exclude from the start, and what, at the finishing stages, to sprinkle here and there.
Your stew is ready. Serve it and awe your audience with the look, smell and of course, unforgettable taste.
Make sure they will want seconds.