The Editing Balancing Act

Editing of Choose Yr Future is going well. Well, I think it is. Well, it’s going anyway. I seem to be adding as much as I am subtracting which is a little annoying as the main aim in editing was removing flabby, unnecessary detail (at 144000 words, I was hoping to trim it down a bit. Which I am doing but who can tell whether what is added now will be deemed excess weight next time.

This is the balancing act of editing well. Taking the garden shears to your prose can be extremely satisfying and I have been groaning inwardly at some of the more flowery sentences. But even as I’m wielding, I wonder am I taking it too far. Perhaps it will die, unable to sprout anew. So I find myself adding new shoots here and there. To balance it out, you know.

This is the part of editing that is difficult – how do you know that you are making the right choices. Of course, nothing is deleted permanently. I studiously keep every copy. When I go through the printed out pages and make alterations, sometimes by the time I go to make those changes on the computer, I have changed my mind again. Either to leave it as it was or do something different again.

A lot of these changes sort themselves out. This will not be the last edit by any means. And then there will be beta readers and professional editors and hopefully eventually something publishable will emerge. It’s a long road but at least I am making progress along it.




So I can call myself a writer now….

So it is out in the open now. I have written a novel and it is out on Amazon. A wider circle of people now know. I can safely say to be people that I am a writer. They can ask that question and I can say ‘Oh, a novel.’ Previously, I always avoided using the word writer. Even though every spare second was spent writing. Anyway, I had an real job. And that was what I gave as my occupation if anyone new asked. It would have been pretentious to use the word writer before this point. And a little embarrassing. I’m not sure why I thought that I needed the solid proof of being published but otherwise, I think, it would have seemed a little too much like intellectual masturbation.

I was always writing though. I think that as I have not previously mentioned it, people think Shattered Reflections appeared fully formed in the months since I have been unemployed. However, this is a work that has been years in the making. Writing sentences, paragraphs whenever I had the chance: on the train to and from work, when I had finished planning lessons, instead of reading in bed at night, while I ate my breakfast. Notebook upon notebook which then had to be typed up, checked and checked again. Without the last months of employment freedom, I would never have managed the final steps but the actual novel was virtually finished by then.

But now I am getting used to saying it. Although still with a small feeling of silliness. As if it is still not quite real. Perhaps because I am not making very much money from it at the minute which means I will have to get a ‘proper job’ when the money starts to get a bit low. And I’m getting used to the ‘oh I’ve always thought I would like to write a book but I wouldn’t know where to start.’ Well, you just start. For me, there was never any choice but to write. I’m not expecting to become a best-seller or make millions. (I mean, it would be nice, obviously but it is not my main motivation.) Regardless of how many copies I sell, how much people like it, I will always write because I have to and because I enjoy it.