Dissolving Myths: The Editing Process


Now that the primary jobs I have (my “day jobs”) have eased up a bit, I’ve started to focus again on my writing and the editing process. One of life’s biggest mysteries has always been that I have never carved out time to write. Yet it’s something I just love to do! Why do we typically block ourselves from doing what we love? We create so many excuses! So many “reasons” why NOT to do something, when it’s really that we’re just not willing to give ourselves the time to do something that is so fulfilling, so caring toward ourselves. We allow ourselves to get distracted by the little things in life—whether it be our children, our spouses, our jobs, our hobbies, the news, the plight of those around us—all of those things are nothing more than a distraction from this bigger picture. What do we love? And will we allow ourselves to just do it?

For me, writing is one of the ways in which I express that love. I’ve been writing since I was eight, and been doing it constantly since then. I might take a year off here, a year off there, and the writing might change shape and not look like a novel, but I have been writing since I could write.

There has been nothing more fascinating for me than the actual process of writing and editing. I had told myself, as part of the “excuse” for why I didn’t send my writing in, was the fear of what the editor would say. What if it’s bad? What if they tear it apart? It’s my baby!! I can’t stand the idea that someone might tear apart my baby!

Except that’s not how it worked. My wonderful, amazing, incredible editor instead pointed out the places I already knew the story had holes—which was why I went to her in the first place, for help in realizing the story around the holes. Her questions told me immediately that there were spots I hadn’t explained adequately. Her comments highlighted the areas I hadn’t fully visualized the character, so there might be inconsistencies. Her perspective helped me visualize the somewhat squashed timeline that I had to expand. And her ability to see the overall picture with completely fresh eyes—I wasn’t there to explain the story, so it had to stand on its own—well, all of that was hugely invaluable to me. And in the end, the second edit produced something I had hoped to see: a stronger story that would pop on its own. We are a team, my editor and me…and together we are going to see this story brought into the fullness of what it can be. Thank you, Donna! So glad I found you!