Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Escape from Editing Hell!

(image from EasternState.org)

At last, I managed to finish a massive revision of the business book I'm writing. It took two weeks of intensive work, grabbing every moment I could one hour at a time, day and night, ignoring the phone, emails and blogs, and letting the housework pile up. I sent the file to Jane yesterday morning and then celebrated with a double Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks.

I love editing, but I hate revisions; a revision is when you actually have to DO the work the editor noted. You have to sit your butt in the chair and figure out exactly how to fix all the red marked problems the editor found; all those run-on sentences, awkward phrases and grammatical errors. It is tedious, arduous and demoralizing. But it is extremely necessary.

Occasionally while working I wanted to skip a note. I mean, who cares if I wrote "that" instead of "which?" Only my editor cares. I doubt the average reader will notice. But I forced myself to take my own advice which I had written so clearly on page 48. Do not skimp on the editing process. Every mistake you make will reflect poorly on the overall quality of the book. Yeah, yeah, yeah, like anyone really cares. Geesh, talk about obsessive!

But I did it and I felt like I'd reached the top of Kilimanjaro after being forced to wait an extra few weeks due to altitude sickness. The view was breathtaking. "I'm the Queen of the world," I shouted to the forest far below.

Um... excuse me. I hate to interrupt your musings, Terena, but this isn't the top.

It's not?

No, this is a good scenic spot, so take a break. The top is two more revisions ahead.


Well, until I get the notes back from Jane in a couple of weeks I'll rest here and enjoy not staring at a computer screen every spare moment of my life while working on the book I used to love. Used to love. Right now I don't even want to launch the damn thing!

I will also remember this feeling when I'm the one sending notes to my authors, telling them an entire chapter doesn't make sense to the overall plot of their book and they need to cut back on the scenic descriptions throughout. It's a miracle my authors don't have voodoo dolls of me on their desks they can stick pins in while muttering curses. Or maybe they do?

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