Monday, May 5, 2014

thoughts on editing

Throughout the last few months I've been working on a few new writing projects. It's something I've talked about doing for a long time, and for the first time have had the mental space and time to pursue. There have been some high points and some low points, but things have fallen into place rather well for the amount of time and effort I have put into it.  
And I've learned a lot about letting my work be edited. I went to a writer's conference and pre-submitted a few chapters for a book project. It was slightly terrifying to let a professional read my words, my stories. As we stood in line to get back our manuscripts, I suddenly felt like I was a student again, waiting for a huge exam score - a little sweaty and hyper. 



One response was not-so great but the other was beyond encouraging. I found someone who understood what I was trying to accomplish. In less than thirty minutes, she gave me a new title and much needed clarity and direction. I knew I needed editing, but I didn't know how helpful it would be. 

I'm beginning to see how editing makes writing better - especially a good editor, one who understands you and is committed to seeing the project succeed. Not all opinions or edits are helpful, but some are incredibly valuable. The more I've let people interact with my words and my ideas, the more clear they have become. Even the critical opinions have helped me clarify my message and understand my weaknesses. It's been humbling to begin the process, and I know if my project continues, this initial editing will seem tiny in comparison to the major editing to come. 



I also think it is this way in relationships. We need to let people step in and "edit" our lives - to show us when we are wrong and to listen when they speak truth. It isn't easy to be on either end of these hard conversations. And not everyone's opinion is helpful, often people are mistaken. But when it is someone who knows us, believes in us and wants our good, we do well to listen to their feedback, to ask their opinions. They can see what we cannot. We are often too close to our own lives to see what is true. I'm learning - slowly by slowly, to let people into my writing and my life, to be part of the process. 

6 comments:

  1. you've been an editor in my life:) xoxo So proud that you are following your dreams and excited to read what is to come!! - Leisajo

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    1. love you leisjo....I will keep you updated!

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  2. Good points about editing. I have a few people who do the same for me, even when I think my writing is..well....great. Really loved your Gospel Coalition piece on the value of suffering and having realistic hope!

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    1. Thanks Linda! Glad you were encouraged. What writing are you working on?

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  3. I like your thinking about editing. paper editing service can play a great tole to edit.

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