It's seems I'm taking more time off than usual with everything...writing, renovating, and just living. The beginning of the year saw me backing down from my daily blogs to three times a week, and this month it's more like twice a week. What can I say? Too many fish in the pan and all are burning. The master juggler is getting old and dropping her balls.
I cut them back to about three feet tall and they look scraggly. I know they will fill back out. I actually have hated them since we bought the house, but my husband loves them. It was a compromise because if it were up to me I would have chopped them all down to the root ball. After two hours I had them back to a manageable size and then came the job of cutting the limbs and branches I cut off. By the time I finished, I was exhausted. My broken heart was pumping at almost two hundred beats a minute. I hear you now, "Are you insane!" I must be, but the job is done. The repercussions of this action...a day in bed because my back would allow me to either stand or lay down without pain. I couldn't sit in a chair more than five minutes at a time. In case you didn't know, I have rack and pinion steering in my back due to a shooting incident and an accident.
SO what does this have to do with writing, you ask. Have you reread your story and had to decide what is needed to make the story pace faster? Streamline? Make it flow better? You got it. Sometimes you have to start at the top and work your way down.
You, as an author, can edit a story because you wrote it. It is much harder to do it for someone else's story. What do you risk in editing someone else's work?
When your baby is ugly there is hope. Your story will develop into your dream child over time. It takes editing to make this creation beautiful. Just like this huge eyed, big, eared, scanty haired child pictured. It won't always look like this. View your creation the same way...it's just ugly right now.
You work your day job and have three hours to write in the evening. This is after you've cooked and eaten your dinner, done the dishes, put a load of wash in the washer, and the kids are in bed...and you are staring at a blank screen or worse... line after line of squiggly red and green lines and your brain is too tired to correct it. For me, it's eight manuscripts on any day and that's a light day...my own and others.
It's like the processes of grief (shock, emotional release, preoccupation with the process, physical/emotional symptoms, hostility, guilt, depression, withdrawal, and resolution). A writer goes through all these things when working with an outside editor. A good editor will understand all these things which does not have anything to do with them and realize it's all part of the author's process. They will step back and let the writer go through all the steps and then come back to the editing process later. This can take a couple of hours or months. It all depends on the writer.
Something to keep in mind when you ask someone to critique or edit your manuscript. Above all...
Keep writing and loving the Lord.