Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Edit is a Four-Letter Word

I knew I had to revise today. There were three chapters lurking in my inbox, and I still needed to re-read and re-send the rest of "Round One" to my editor. Yesterday was a teaching/class prep day. Today is the day of reckoning - uh - editing.
I prepared mentally, putting this task at the top of my lengthy to-do list. I went to bed early (for me) after a brief snooze on the sofa. I got up this morning in revising mode, and entered the day slowly, sneaking up on the task at hand.

And then I started -- laundry, that is. And then I sat at the computer and started -- to check out Facebook. And then... I started.

And quickly came to the conclusion that I am never more distractible than I am when I am editing.

I don't know how my editor does this all day long. After fifteen minutes with my own words (which, are, at this point, in pretty decent shape) I am ready to organize my house, paint my daughter's bedroom and wash anything that's not nailed down. Never have unpleasant tasks seemed so alluring.

The book is already written. It's been revised more than once. But a long time has passed since those things happened, and it's time for my writing to reflect it.

I catch some things on the aforementioned "Round One," but many details escape my critical eye.

But not my editor's. She catches things that I should have caught, finds things I didn't even know were mistakes, and tells me when I've reached my quota on a certain writing crutch I didn't know I was using. She is, in a word, indispensable.

Yes, you read that right, and no, I'm not (just) kissing up. Taking writing to the next level is grueling work. If writing and revising the book is training for the marathon, editing the book is the marathon -- one I insist on prolonging, counterproductive as that is, by doing laundry, putting things away and writing blogs.

So, Ro, if you are reading this, I'm getting back to work now.

Just as soon as I answer my cell phone.

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