Tuesday, January 20

On Being a Writer...




I am writer. My friend/editor, Lani Diane Rich says I should say, “I am a great writer!” So I will say it, “I am a great writer!” I’m anxiously waiting for her to finish the read-through on the revised version of the new Women of Willow Bay book. I’m really hoping she’s going to say, “You are a great writer!” That kind of validation would be truly wondrous.

But being a writer makes me hyper-aware of everything I write, from blog posts to queries for my authors as I edit, from chats with my kids to comments on Facebook, from emails to a damn grocery list. Seriously! I’ve even been known to toss a grocery list that felt disorganized or untidy and begin again. It takes me ten times longer than the average person to send a simple text message because I always proofread and make sure it's punctuated correctly and I REFUSE to use those texting abbreviations like "C U LTR" or "THX" for thanks.  Just can't make myself do it. Is that normal? Am I the only writer who does this crazy stuff? Dear God, I hope not! That would mean my OCD is showing and then I’d have to own it.

Surprisingly, I’m not one of those writers who critiques everything I read–well, I try not to do that. I think it’s the copy editor in me who does that and only because, really, there is a better way to say whatever it is you’re trying to say. Here, just let me give it a little tweak… okay, now doesn’t that sound better? I knew you’d agree… <sigh>

Although I do believe that one rule every writer must follow is edit, edit, edit, I also know there is a point where you have to step away from the keyboard and simply pronounce the work finished. I did that last week. I typed “The End,” and I sent the manuscript to Lani and said, “I’m done.” But then just this morning after I got home from the pool, I found myself in it again, tweaking, changing a word, rereading… Husband came in and said, “Close that file. Do your editing gig. Just stop!” He was right, of course, so I’m letting it go… really, I’m letting it go…

Maybe I’ll just go make my grocery list…

7 comments:

  1. LOL. Just bear in mind that there are those of us who are glad about your OCD when you read our stuff (pre-publication, of course). But Jim is right--let it go. It's good!

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    1. Yeah, I'm pretty sure the OCD part totally belongs to the copyeditor but every so often, it seeps into other parts of me! Thanks, Liz!!

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  2. I feel the refrain from Frozen swimming up from my belly.... "let it go! let it go! can't hold it back anymo-o-ore!' lolol

    Just my opinion, but a little OCD is normal, I think. Everyone has it, but in different ways. I can't leave the house without checking every lock and window. RadioMan can't record just one version of a commercial. Declaring a manuscript 'done' is both a joy (because I can submit it!) and a cause for hyperventilation because there are *always* things I could fix...

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    1. So true, Kristi!! I love "a cause for hyperventilation," that's perfect!! Glad you came by!

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  3. Love the picture--that might have to become a coaster soon! :)

    And I'm with you--I hate it when people abbreviate 'you' with U. Really?
    U couldn't type you??? How difficult is that? I also find myself cringing while reading FB posts that use bad grammer, spelling, and more. I so want to take a red pen to them. And I'm not a copy-editor!

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    1. Ah, Margie! I love your outrage because I so share it! It's too bad that taking a red pen to FB posts and texts isn't something we can do--we'd both have a field day, wouldn't we?

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  4. I'm hyper aware of everything I write, too. And you're write. Editing our work is important, I usually do 3-4 rounds before beta readers, but there has to come a point when we surrender it and let it be.

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