Writing and Editing, 36

Please, excuse the foul language in the quote I am sharing with you today. Also know that this approach is far from being my own stance on any of my editorial work. Still, the statement enticed me enough to invite you to a humorous thought . . . because when it comes to my own writings, I generally beat my drafts to death. As for the manuscripts of others, I am as gentle as a lamb. (Or so I want to believe . . .)

“I’ve found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.” ~ Don Roff

Writing and Editing, 35

“Editing. It’s like dieting; except a lot more violent.” ~ Leya Delray

I agree with this claim. I only want to add “self-editing” to the equation. When it comes to my own writings, I am often in a turmoil of a large variety of emotions, thoughts and judgments. I have recently completed a new book. Prose poetry. I forget how many drafts I have worked on (I am afraid to look at that folder . . .) And I know that the “best editing” will materialize on the print-copy, as my dear publisher would say. How about you?

Writing and Editing, 34

After we generate a text, we must keep the three Cs of self-editing in mind, before we share that draft with our readers: Clarity, Coherence, Conciseness. This primary rule is what professional editors (should) aim at.

“The goal of text generation is to throw confused, wide-eyed words on a page; the goal of text revision is to scrub the rods clean so that they sound nice and can go out in public.” ~ Paul J. Silvia


Writing and Editing, 33

For the time being, the cited author’s spatial preference does not appeal to me. His approach to editing, however, is in harmony with my stand on this profession.

“I work in my study, taking the collections of words that people send me and making small adjustments to them, changing something here and there, checking everything is in order and putting a part of myself into the text by introducing just a little bit of difference. (“Substitutions”)” ~ Michael Marshall Smith

Writing and Editing, 30

My last post was about self-editing. How to self-edit “until your fingers bleed (CK Webb)”. This time, too, I am sharing with you a quote on the same subject matter. An editor must be brutally honest and utterly diligent when it comes to her / his own work also – maybe even more so when manuscripts are concerned with which she / he has been entrusted by others. “Dark side” or not, I know that I will keep myself entangled in this process. I still wonder . . . what do you make of the statement below?

“Self editing is the path to the dark side. Self editing leads to self delusion, self delusion leads to missed mistakes, missed mistakes lead to bad reviews. Bad reviews are the tools of the dark side.” ~ Eric T. Benoit

Writing and Editing, 29

One of my most favorite testimonials as to the actions of an editor who works like I do . . . While the statement below speaks on my behalf, I still discover errors in my own drafts. A fact that I must accept without getting as upset at myself as I often do . . . “on the verge of insanity” . . .

“Edit your manuscript until your fingers bleed and you have memorized every last word. Then, when you are certain you are on the verge of insanity . . . edit one more time!” ~ CK Webb

Writing and Editing, 28

“. . . our relationship was like a Word document that we were writing and editing together, or a long private joke which nobody else could understand.” ~ Sally Rooney

I, for one, cannot say that writing or editing could ever be construed as a “joke” – private or not. But, this approach most definitely seems far more rewarding than what some of us, writers and editors, go through in the often grueling process of modifying a manuscript toward clarity, coherence and cohesiveness.