Please Kill Me,
Bon Jour my: procreating, parasitic, postulating, poets of prose. (Ah alliteration, what treasures do you hold?) Welcome again my friends, and partial enemies of trade. Today, Editing – that thing (that had you listened), would’ve gotten you into the “Good school.”
First, some background here -seeing as I’ve been mostly stuck in the throws of my Gun of Crow series. My novel Becoming Utopia comes out soon. Admittedly, delayed due to several weeks of (but not limited to): denial, laziness, self-reflection, and alcohol.
(Hey, how else do you procrastinate a mentally taxing objective) Besides, this whole thing kind of forces my life back into the right direction (*valley girl voice* “So OMG you guys, just… try and get it okay??!!!) Now that, that’s out there, it’s probably a no brainer why I want to tackle editing. It’s what the hell I’m doing.
So anyone who’s written should be familiar with the beast of the edit. It requires a LOT of discipline, self-control, and honesty with yourself. Many people like to farm this task out to professional editors. As a fact most pros do. This however is after they’ve themselves edited their project into the ground. Scarily enough there are still things they miss. Just like “all of us have a mental blind spot”; even the best editor on the planet has a literary one. (For that reason it’s best to edit via assembly. #MoreonthatLater)
I digress. Despite the amazing work that editors do, from my own experience, and research on the topic (while I was trying to get out of editing my own work), I found that, after circling the drain of self-hatred and despise; I was actually becoming a better writer. For every misplaced comma, I thought of a beautiful sentence, so simple and eloquent, that I could eliminate the comma all together. For every then instead of than, I found that neither sufficed and just told the story.
Those are just two examples, but (as you could imagine) this happened dozens (hundreds) of times. I was shocked at the simple mistakes that I made. But I was far more impressed, with my ability to turn those mistakes into strengths. Stringing together the wreckage -into a fine yacht- that sailed across the page.
You see what people don’t tell you is, once you dedicate yourself to do something consistently, and discipline yourself to improve, you grow as a creator (Especially when you’re not actively working on it). Our minds are built to subconsciously adapt and advance.
My advice, trust yourself, dig deep, and ram into your own creation, like it taunted your artistic integrity. (“I BROUGHT YOU INTO THIS LAPTOP, AND I’LL TAKE YOU OUT!!”) Sorry, flashbacks. Basically I’m saying, edit mercilessly, and with the ferocity of an (Insert analogy here).
Never fear your own work. You’re always a better version of you, than you were yesterday. So hit the page. Hit it hard, hit it right. Don’t take the edit for granted. It’s perhaps the most rewarding part of it all; and could provide some profound lessons. Case in point: “The Edit is the rabbit-hole you seek Neo”.
Getting it as right as I can,