As of today, I have turned in the first round of edits on both stories I have coming out later this year. While it is an absolute relief to have them off my plate (for now) there is still a residual anxiety hovering around. I’ve never been very good at relaxing and it’s quite pronounced today! Once I finished sending off my draft, I very nearly ran out of the Starbucks to get some air!
I’m exceedingly grateful to my writing group friends for tolerating me during the sea of editing crises. Editing my own work is very challenging, even with the assistance of a professional editor. Every time I receive feedback from an editor, I learn something. This time through, the insights were especially helpful. I was even able to apply what I learned from one editor to the change I made on the next piece!
The challenge now is… what to work on next? I’ve done nothing but edit for just over an entire month. I’m itching to do something entirely different, but I hear the call from a mostly finished short story in my documents folder. Only a few changes I could submit it!
I’m also thinking about looking for a few more anthology calls. I’ve found writing for anthologies to be a lot of fun lately!
Of course, what I should do is relax! Maybe just for a few minutes!
As I’m going through the process of working with an editor, I am reminded that editing blows. As anyone who has ever tried to string together a few coherant sentences can tell you: writing is HARD. Then, to add insult to injury, you must edit your manuscript. It seems rather unfair.
Right now, I’m going through my MS and removing ever time I used the word, “just.” Why in the world did I use that word so much?? What was I thinking? And most embarassingly, how did I not notice it myself before I sent it off to my publisher? I’m tempted to go back to my original draft and find out just how many times it was, but that might be cruel.
It’s tempting to assert that writing is hard, but editing is harder. I don’t believe that to be true. Pulling the words from nothing and putting them on the page is hard. It’s an exercise in dedication and creativity. Taking the words you’ve amassed and shaping them into a more refined whole is hard. It’s an exercise in perserverance and attention to detail. At this point in my life, I’m still working on how to do both of these things effectively.
Hopefully, I’ll find other things to work on as I become more confident in the larger aspects in the process of writing. I will never stop learning. I work hard to make that happen.
In the end it’s like running and biking. (What, doesn’t everyone do those things??) They’re both physically exhausting if you do them long enough but they work different muscles. They’re similar in some ways, but getting back on my bike in the spring after only running all winter is a pretty rude awakening. My thighs mock me with all the miles I ran on that first bike ride. The trick is that I have to do them both.
I’m okay with that.