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My Editing Process

posted Mar 15, 2014, 7:30 AM by Ben Kreucher
Sometimes I despair and sink into depression when editing.  I look at all the red marks and curl up inside.  How could I have written such garbage?  Only fit for the bin.  I want to shred it, burn it, tear it to pieces and throw it in the air like confetti (maybe at the next wedding I attend, instead of rice [do people still do that?]).  

I let it sit.  I ignore the dread.  I nap.  I stop writing (always a bad choice).  I try to relax and remember nothing worth doing comes easily.

So I play video games and ignore the manuscript on my desk or table or under my bed.  I try to escape.  Deadlines don't loom...except the deadlines I create in my mind; but I'm great at breaking forgetting them.  If no one holds me accountable, I just let it slide...except, I can't.

You can't polish a turd (though Mythbusters gave it a valiant attempt [I forget how successful they were]).  I realize my writing isn't rubbish.  I hope the garbage truck hasn't arrived and stolen my life's blood...unless it's not Monday.  I stare at the computer screen.  A taunting, blank page.

I type.  One letter. Two.  A word. Three.  A sentence.  A paragraph.  I stop.  I look at my manuscript.  I sigh.  I open it and begin to read it again from my bookmark (a red pencil),

Life starts and ends.  Life sucks and then you die.  Well, only if you let it.  My life, however, is spend staring at words on a page, writing and rewriting, reading and rereading, and hoping without daring to put any faith in that hope (like a rope bridge swaying in a tornado over a long, deep gorge) that one day this story that's bursting out of me will be the perfect creation I know it can achieve.

Until then, I edit and nap, despair and nap, play video games and nap, write and nap, work and nap, edit...ad infinitum.
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