Did I hear the zoom ring again on my phone? Oh, yes I did. Our triumph as authors with the push of the publishing button, faded the next day. I received a panicked text from one of my fellow authors, and she made me smile. She’s worried about putting her first book, and everything has to be perfect. We had to put our books on the bookshelf because she wanted to some word changes.
Our zoom session had reading out loud to each other to see if we missed any words, or needed to change any punctuation. My fellow author made me smile because she felt the same jitters as every writer before they hit the release button. Yes, we should put out the best version of our work. The fact that she’s worried about sentence structure and style the reader will never know about means that she cares as writer. We spend hours pouring over whether or not to use a comma, or change adjectives because we’re trying to convey the right voice to the reader.
The trick is making all these changes so that the reader has no idea that those small changes made all the difference in the book. I had to tell her not to be too hard on herself even when we found something we missed the several times we both reviewed the manuscript. To be honest, I find typos in big publisher pieces that they put out and they can afford to have a team of editors.
Heed this as advice to every writer. Editing takes months and there will be a lot of back and forth. You’re agreed upon initial price will always go up because there will and should always be more rounds than you expect. There will be last minute changes, or pulling of the press. You might even find something once you hit the button. We’re human and our brains fill in things that are missing or wrong.
My writing raw leaves flaws and missing words. I admit that in my blog and when I do prompts. I leave it as is because I want the real snapshot of emotion. Editing changes the initial charge that shot off my pen to get it working. Real and raw inspires and has something that watered down words lack. Sometimes, I think that editors, like Max Perkins, should have left more crazy of authors like, Thomas Wolfe. Max was drawn to Thomas Wolfe because of the raw, the real. Something in his words sparked a feeling in him to continue the relationship.
I feel like I’m having an “Educating Rita” moment. In educating ourselves in different subjects does that take something away from our raw human being? There’s times we’re better off being who we are, who we were, than someone who’s been schooled and groomed. Maybe that’s we need to remind everyone as writers. It’s our responsibility as writers to capture the raw. Maybe that’s why Hemingway spent hours trying to find one true sentence. When we write, we’re all trying to find out who we were – our crazy.
Our question for today is who were you before you picked up your pen? How did you sound before you learned about the rules of grammar. Let that voice speak today. Have a crazy day.
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