The weather has been so mild here the last week it makes me think of spring. Not that spring is anywhere close but I can wish, can’t I? I've been sighing over flower catalogues and dreaming of beautiful flowers and plants. The garden pictures are breathtaking. My fingers are itching to get in the dirt.
I look at my existing flowerbeds. Hmm, they’re in relatively good shape, well defined but a bit of a mess. Several are under several inches of oak leaves from my big oak trees. There are weeds to pull. I’m going to have to clear a lot junk to make them flower garden worthy. I can see the picture in my head of what I want it to be. What it should look like. Then I look at what it is. Sometimes the transition between what is and what you want to be is overwhelming. It’s a lot of work.
It reminds me of editing. I have a clear picture in my head of what it should be, but then there are all those layers of *leaves and weeds* that have to be so it matches the story in my head. At this stage of the season, some things are hard to identify as weeds. God forbid I pull the wrong thing. Of course I have done that before and I know most things can be replanted or, to carry the analogy further, dropped into a data file and inserted later.
Just as my eye looks over all the existing flowerbeds in my yard and I feel overwhelmed with the work involved; so it is with editing. When gardening, I tend to look at my whole yard and what I’m trying to create. Then I take a section at a time and work on it. Editing? I’m trying to apply the same principle. A section at a time.
Presently, my work schedule is hectic—a couple hours shy of full time. By the time I’m finished with working for a paycheck and the work around the ranch, my mind doesn't have a lot of creative sparks. I do have a ton of finished stuff I've written the past few years that needs editing. I've been feeling an itch to tackle it and get it cleaned up to the point I can hand it over to an editor. This is my project for this winter.
Let’s throw this to the practiced. Some of you have had the benefit of professional editors. I’m not sure if that’s a blessing or a not, but it is interesting how the professionals look at your work and make a cut here or suggest additions there to improve the story.
- So share. How do you edit your work? Do you have a system?
- What would you suggest to those of us who aren't as experienced and just beginning to edit some of our work?
You only need 2 tools in life: WD-40 and duct tape.
If it’s supposed to move and doesn't, use the WD-40.
If it isn't supposed to move and does, use the duct tape.