I feel as if Bev’s stories come from true Harlem Renaissance or old black Hollywood or something like that and all I can hear while reading her books is jazz from a smoky cotton club. ~ Katrina Gurl When I … Continue reading
Are you thinking about editing your own book? Here’s why you should rethink that…
A few tips by by BLAKE ATWOOD
1. You’re too emotionally connected
If you’ve ever called your book your “baby,” you’re guilty of every writer’s chief sin: love.
No, there’s nothing inherently wrong with liking, or even loving, what you’ve written. You should be proud of bringing forth meaning from a blank page. But that kind of unabashed love for what you’ve created has a dark side: Blindness.
Think about first dates and new love.
Because you’re so enamored with the other person, you tend to look past their flaws (which they’re likely doing their best to conceal, just as you are). But if that relationship lasts, those flaws become more than noticeable. They might become irritating or even cause for separation.
In time, the willing blindness of early love leads to a reality check.
When you love what you see, you don’t see what you don’t want to see. Your brain loves you too much to inflict that kind of damage upon you.
Love leads to believing your book is flawless.
2. You’re too confident
If you’ve ever typed The End with a flourish and then hit Send immediately after, you’re guilty of writer’s hubris.
While you should celebrate the completion of any piece of writing, you should also know that you’ve only just begun. You still have self-editing, editing, pitching, querying, proposing, publishing and marketing to do.
If you’re one of the fortunate few to be agented and traditionally published, your book will go through a series of tortures — er, edits — that may cause you to doubt how well you crafted that first draft.
Overconfidence leads to believing your book needs far fewer edits than it deserves.
3. You’re too insecure
In Journal of a Novel, John Steinbeck summarized a writer’s internal life so well when he wrote, “I know it is the best book I have ever done. I don’t know whether it is good enough.”
The struggle between “I’m the greatest writer who’s ever lived” and “This is drivel; I should quit writing” is real. But take heart: if even Steinbeck doubted himself during the writing of arguably his best novel, East of Eden, then it’s OK to be wary of your ability.
When you’re insecure about your book, you won’t know what needs to be kept and what needs to be discarded. Instead of thinking every word, scene and chapter are astounding, you’ll mistakenly believe that they’re all rubbish. Neither belief is true.
Insecurity leads to believing your book needs far more edits than it deserves.
4. You’re too familiar with your book
Whether you’ve been working on your book for a month, three months or three years, you know your book better than anyone else.
Even when you’re not consciously working on it, you’re subconsciously figuring it out. If you’re serious about your writing, your book becomes a permanent resident in your mind, always ready for you to pluck it from your mental shelf.
This is one reason why our books become so precious to us. They’ve been with us so long that it can be hard to separate them from our identity. But such familiarity clouds your judgment.
Put another way, how evenly do you judge family members versus those you hardly know? Your familiarity with family often allows you to judge them more harshly (or more leniently) than you would people you hardly know. A certain amount of separation allows for a more evenhanded response.
Familiarity leads to believing your book is you.
5. You’re too tired of looking at your book
Writing a good book is hard, time-consuming lonely work.
Depending on how much you’ve pressed yourself to do that work, you might be weary of reading your own words. This is no way to edit.
If you’ve ever found yourself skipping over parts during self-editing because you just want to get through that phase faster, you’re making a critical mistake.
Tiredness leads to mistakes.
6. You lack time
Proper editing requires many hours, including multiple needs to research questionable issues, like whether you’re using lie or lay correctly.
If you’re self-editing under the stress of a looming deadline, you may cause more harm to your manuscript than good. Writers hire editors who have the time and expertise to do for their manuscripts what they cannot do for themselves.
Busyness leads to shoddiness.
7. You lack expertise
I so strongly believe that every author needs an editor that it’s the subtitle of my book on editing, Don’t Fear the Reaper: Why Every Author Needs an Editor.
Regardless of your writing capabilities, you likely lack the knowledge and expertise that a professional editor accumulates through editing dozens, if not hundreds of manuscripts every year.
Steamy Trails Publishing strongly recommends having all your books professionally edited!
I think I’m gonna sit up, take several deep breaths and, with as much conviction as I can muster, shout from the rooftops, “I AM A WRITER!” Writing is what has defined me for as far as I can remember, … Continue reading
In our minds, everyone should know who he is, but for formal intros…his name is Joey Pinkney. He writes and maintains JoeyPinkney.com. Featuring book reviews and interviews to create exposure for authors. Joey started his famous website in June of 2006. In the beginning, … Continue reading
A special thanks to De’ Kridge for sharing on our blog. His words of wisdom is wonderful to have as we journey through life.
Beyond our accepted illusion of free will, I have reasoned that my will is not at all free. Toward my imagination’s pre-playing of individual and collective purposes achievable. I sense that I am enabled with choice to assert my inclusion for competitive relevance—and with constant-deliberate-effort, to aspire to earn competitive reverence. Perhaps an intrinsic design, this sense of being a continuum of energy, in a state of constant-forward-momentum.
On deeper, introspective examination of my will, I sense one of many purposes achieved is recognition of that intrinsic momentum; and I wonder if for each of us, what is obviously free, is it not choice?
If we are of this intrinsic design—in a perpetual, constant-forward-momentum, then, in spite of obstacles, my will is made up of bequeathed contents, of which I am intrinsically compelled to claim. Perhaps they are called Pre-Birth-Oaaths—those individual and collective preplayed, purposes achievable my imagination affirms as attainable, with constant-deliberate-effort. And if so, to attain such purposes achievable, I propose the following:
RECOGNITION—it is that choice is but a ripple within the unfathomable ocean of effect and cause; and by design, each of us may choose to serve has pawn, knight, king, queen to redesign any moment with merited and/or unmerited thought, word, and/or action.
UNDERSTANDING—we are borrowers, sharers, lenders, and sellers to be used as reminders, signposts, and paths.
ACCEPTANCE—interconnected—pawn, knight, king, or queen – toward… because of… against and for… we must commit, cognizant with recognition and understanding that we venture as the only constant and inconstant namers; and our effects and causes represent the true-knowledge of our individual wills.
With respect and appreciation,
~ De’ Kridge, or simply De
Visit his Website @ http://www.dekridge.com
Other Reads to be published soon: Crossing to MORE: Oaath to Purpose via MORE and Way of The Spheres.