For the record, I have been trying to think of a good idea for a post for ages, but I cannot seem to come up with anything interesting. In fact, I’ve been so frustrated and annoyed that I can’t find something I’m looking for that its what’s really occupying my mind.
I have two currently “in need of editing” but “done with actual writing” pieces. One is a reedit of “Black Friday” and the other is the first stage of editing on my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel (I will NEVER do that again).
Of course I have a volunteer editor for BF, but she’s also a college student, not to mention the two jobs. A girl’s gotta get paid, and she volunteered for “Black Semester: The Editing Story”. Volunteering is low paying, so I’m really in no rush. I’m crazy lucky to know an English major, even luckier that she (either) likes me enough to volunteer for such an epic undertaking (or liked the story enough to make sure the typos and wording did not make her want to scratch her own eyes out. Or mine). And I appreciate her effort, and I hope she knows that (shout out to Brittney).
My other “In progress” editing is being done solely by little ole me, and I’ve been on hiatus from it for more than two months now. I’d be in trouble if I had a deadline for some reason (one of many reasons why I refuse to do NaNoWriMo again). I hate deadlines, and I hate pressure. So, its also lucky I’m not under a writing contract.
Generally when I do my own editing, I simply edit for typos or badly worded sentences. And believe me, there’s enough trouble with just that. If I were actually going through and editing for all the writing boo-boos that can and do happen (especially when you’re writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days) I’d be at it for ages.
Another problem I have with my least favorite part of being a writer, is that when I do go back through, I often reread a part here and there, or think back at how I wrote the story, and think of a whole new way to write it, a whole new way to tell the story, I get ideas for grand changes or rewrites. Once I get them, if I’m in the mood I usually am (if I’m editing at all, I am in said mood) then I attempt the impossible. But I do it, and excuse my language, half-assed, and I try to rewrite or edit without completely changing the entire document.
When I first bought my iPad, I thought, “If I find the right app, I can use this on the go, to edit my stories!” And I did, at first. I found Pages for the iPad and downloaded it (it was free!), and soon emailed myself a copy of my NaNoWriMo novel, and started rereading and editing (what I call a soft edit, just typos and general smoothness). I cannot remember for the life of me how far I’ve gotten, but it’s been more than a month, at least, since I’ve even opened the app.
Q: Why didn’t I edit as I wrote?
A: Have you even HEARD of NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month is a “contest” or basically a race to try and write a novel, at least 50,000 words, in 30 days. It starts on November 1st and ends on November 30th. What do you get? Uh, bragging rights? And you can BUY a tee shirt that said you did it. I did not buy the shirt. I was just glad to have finished. I knew that if I did edit while writing, I would most likely spend too much time “perfecting” the un-perfectible than actually writing. I ended up finishing a few days early, I think, but I did it, by Jove! It was mostly due to the fact that I just really got into the writing of it.
I attempted NaNoWriMo for two reasons. In college I’d heard of it, and had always wanted to participate. I was either too early or too late, whenever I would remember it. But this year I was actually on top of it, and I’d gotten the idea for the story in September.
The second reason was purely to prove to myself that my writing bone had not been irreversibly broken. Turns out it was a muscle injury and it was just sprained. I proved to myself that I wasn’t blocked or broken or wasted. I could still write. And man did I write!
But then I got the big idea that I wanted to enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist award. I never finished editing, obviously, and I got lazy (it also didn’t help that I was having a rough time at my day job). I’d had a reminder set on my phone, and kept ignoring it. On the first day of entry, I snoozed the reminder, shrugged and said, “Meh.” Luckily I hadn’t made solid plans on the prize money, amirite?
So, if it comes down to editing, a good hard thorough editing, then I will never be a contracted, agent-ed, or anything else remotely related to being a professional writer. I have a friend who is a freelance writer, and man am I jealous (Shout-out to Kim). My bestest friend (yes, I am 29 and I said “bestest”) writes more in a year’s time than I can in a decade, so she’s got me beat too (shout out to Selena).
I once dreamed of being a writer, and actually making a living off of it. I also dreamed of being an elementary school teacher too, but I’m currently in retail. But then, I don’t know if I could stand to write something, edit and reedit, fall shamelessly and hopelessly in love with the story I’ve written and send it to a publisher just to have them send it back and say “fix this, and this, and that, and those too, and we’ll go from there”.