The Editing Process

Today I offer a rare glimpse into my writing world, an actual photograph of (revision number one) for my current manuscript.  Before I begin, let me clearly state this is my way of editing; it is not the only way. Find what works for you. Don’t force yourself (or your muse) into a painful routine that doesn’t work.

Writing should not be (all that) painful. A little bit uncomfortable, yes; blood on the forehead, no.

Looking at the photo let’s be honest…it is a jumbled mess. Many authors would take one look at this debacle and run. I actually find comfort in this.

You are witnessing the birth process.

You can see there is an entire section blocked off with a big NO written on it. However, the confusion begins with the words “Keep this sheet” noted at the bottom of the “no”page.  Why would I emphatically write NO, but still decide to keep this sheet when I clearly do not like anything on it?

Primarily  because I may decide to use it somewhere else. Since I continually try to improve and grow as an author, saving this edit reminds me of the areas that need improvement. (hint: no writer is perfect).  Being a sensory writer; meaning that I must touch the paper and physically print a manuscript before I bleed edits upon it; you will see on the left of this photo is a simple sheet of notebook paper whereby I have freewritten an addition (which I marked through a portion of).

This my friend, is the process. That of writing, READING, marking through, bleeding upon, until finally we release a manuscript to a professional editor who will do exactly the same thing. This is why books take years. This is why we press on, scribbling across pages that ultimately look like train wrecks.

For those who are asking: How does this help me market my manuscript? the answer is simple. Clean manuscripts translate into error-free books. We endure this process to bring our readers something they will adore and, hopefully, something they will encourage their friends to read.

Thank you to everyone who subscribes to  my blog. Please forward it to others who are walking their own personal path toward publication.

Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author FREE to Amazon Prime Members.

$ 2.99 for Kindle Owners  Paperback

And, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes, the book that launched me on this journey.

Have a wonderful day.


Finding Balance

The life of an author is filled with chaos.

Whether placing fictional characters in difficult situations, or personally pressing through the real-life anxiety of speaking to a crowd, those who have chosen the author’s life must be brave. Constantly bombarded with life issues as well as characters who-if we’re honest-love to misbehave, oftentimes our lives spin out of control. Today I want to talk about balance.

Dear one, you must take care of yourself.

Pouring your soul into a manuscript is an investment of time. Few authors can boast enough book sales to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Instead, we have a “real job” that pays the bills. We write during our lunch hour, while waiting in line at carpool, before the sun comes up, or after it goes down. Writers seize every opportunity to put pen to paper, an act that sometimes leads to burnout. Following this initial release comes a period of editing, re-editing, asking veteran readers and authors their opinion on your work, and the assembly of a marketing list.

All necessary.

All tiring.

All worth the effort.

The industry classifies this as a “birthing process.” As a mother, let me say that childbirth is much less traumatic to the body than book birthing. Book birthing is exhausting, never for the weak or faint of heart.

Take heed those who are about to release a book, I am talking to you. Before launching your book into the world, take a moment to breathe. Seek peace and quiet, if only for a moment.

Step away from the work.

Let it rest while you do the same.

Treat yourself to lunch with friends; lounge in a bubble bath; take a walk; savor a steamy cup of coffee. You will be glad you did.

As always, I welcome your responses. Visit me on Facebook or my website.