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.

Writing and Editing, 26

“Any book without a mistake in it has had too much money spent on it.” ~ William Collins

I do most of my editing gratis, always aiming to produce the cleanest version of the original manuscripts. While I cannot claim that the outcome is free of mistakes, money has no control over my work; for, it is a labor of love.

Writing and Editing, 24

“[T]hey are trying to find the right word, to choose, finally, the one that is most exact, most incisive. It’s a process of sifting, which is exhausting and, at times, exasperating. Writers can’t avoid it. The heart of the craft lies there.” ~ Jhumpa Lahiri

While the quote above singles out the process of writing, I, as a seasoned editor, must reassure you of the following fact: Editing is an identical discipline in terms of its “exhausting” and “exasperating” demands for a commitment to the “sifting” of each draft with a fine-tooth comb.