The single greatest lesson I’ve learned as a writer is how to eat humble pie. Editing, even self-editing, forces me to look at my own silly nonsense and try to make it something readable. I mean, there are honest mistakes like the one I ran across this morning …
“Staring at hew as though …”
Which should have read like this — “Staring at him as though …”
(By the way, thank you Word Program for assuming I meant “hew” there. Go team failure!)
Typo’s happen. I know that. I write everything by hand first so when I’m actually typing things I’m not really looking at the screen. So I can forgive myself — and often laugh — at such mistakes.
But there are other mistakes that make me blush. Mistakes dealing with a very broken mythology that require an Alpha/Beta Reader to come along and tell me the harsh truth in the nicest way they know how. And really, my Alpha’s and Beta’s are awesome. They know me well enough to know how to crush my soul without making me cry.
Or … well … I cry on the inside. But normally it’s a frustrated — “Why would I write that in there?” cry and not a “They all hate me and I want to go eat worms” cry.
The editing domain for me comes in two parts. The first part is the most extensive and it requires absolute focus. I sometimes loathe myself for the fact that I have to print out the pages so that I can mark on them, but I try to make up for that by recycling. (What can I say? I have a Go-Green spirit and a ruthless work ethic warring each other.)
Anyway, during that first editing pass I can’t split my attention between projects. Which is frustrating because I like to have multiple projects going on at the same time. But when I hit the second editing pass things go really quickly. Generally, all the work is already done and all I have to do is transcribe it onto the computer.
Which, in turn, frees up my brain power. And since I’m on the second pass of Dead Magic right now I was able to finish the rough draft for Tapped this week. I have to admit that I surprised myself with Tapped. I wasn’t expecting to have it done until the middle of the summer.
But hey! It’s done! That leaves me with Usurper to finish before the end of the year and a couple of mountains to climb. I’m starting to think I didn’t challenge myself enough with my New Year’s Goals or something.
All I can say is … I own 2013.