…No really I am not joking…after the round of migraine attacks I have had just this year I am ready for elective brain surgery, failing that a brain transplant from a non-perfectionist…
So March is National
Chainsaw-Wielding Editing Month…However for me, I have been deep in editing mode for about 6 months. But for me March is the If I don’t step away now I will …. End-Game. So what have I hated learnt about the brain surgery editing process?
… I am a Control-Freak Perfectionist and my own worst enemy not to mention my novel’s.
…Don’t over-edit…That is what an “Editor” is there for.
… Step away from the manuscript slowly when you have the itch to wield a chainsaw. (Or make sure there is a tree nearby that needs pruning if you cannot step away.)
… In the words of a very wise CP : Say to your EGO “SHOVE OFF” or use more colorful 4 letter terms, I am sure I don’t need to elaborate here.
…Step away from the manuscript when you want to kill all your characters from frustration.
…Make sure you have someone in your life who will call you on the head-crap you put yourself through in editing mode…
…Do not hit delete (as tempting as it is) instead Step away and send it to that person who does not accept head-crap from you. (Tip: Make sure you truly are scared this person will whack you if you don’t let them help. Fear is a great motivator to get rid of the EGO.)
…Don’t be so struck with stage-fright or that dreaded EGO to not
askdemand help from any corner willing to give it.
… Step away from the manuscript when it starts turning your hair follicles white and your fingers are being chewed to the bone from tension and nerves.
… Step away from the edits and play with another WIP to rejuvenate your creative self-esteem…It helps if the next WIP is all about a serial killer…There is something soothing about killing off your secondary characters in a new story. Great stress-reliever.
When all else fails, buy yourself a bottle of red wine, a ginormous slab of chocolate and curl up on the couch with your favourite thriller (Then making sure all the windows are closed, you can scream out your frustrations with the excuse that you are scared of the killer lurking on the screen.)
… What doesn’t kill you,
(or make you kill others)will make you stronger….Breathe…Count to 100…Stretch…
So nod yes if you have learned any of the same lessons above as I have. Nod yes if editing your own ms has given you grey hair and/or a license to wield a chainsaw. Nod yes if you wished a virus would eat up your ms so that you could just forget it and head onto the next story.
Now I am stepping away, putting down the chainsaw, staying away from the
Destroy “Delete” key and off to play with my new WIP…Followed by red wine, chocolate and the scariest thriller I can find on the movie channel.
Rinse & Repeat: What doesn’t kill me
(or make me kill others outside of fiction) will make me stronger!
- Your Manuscript and The Home Edit (kellielarsenmurphy.com)
- Working Hard or Hardly Working? (kateforster.wordpress.com)
- Jumping the Gun? (darcknyt.wordpress.com)
- On Editing, with Heather Moore (writingsnippets.wordpress.com)
- Editing: really, it’s nothing personal (authorbrianthompson.wordpress.com)
- The Editors: The Pros, The Beta Readers, and The Ugly Truth. (wdlady.wordpress.com)
- WIP Wednesday: The Thing Postulate (danielleheath.wordpress.com)
- Creatively Analytical – Or, Your Editor Does Not Hate You (victoriaoldham.wordpress.com)
- The Thrill of being a Writer (spookymrsgreen.wordpress.com)
- Row80 Check-in 2/5 Finding Something to Inspire (debrakristi.wordpress.com)
- Novel Writing: Taming the First Draft (thezombiechimp.com)