Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Day I Realized My Writing Was In Shambles

I am a writer.

Yes, I know you knew that. You are all very clever people. In fact, I am certain most of you know that being a writer isn't just about writing, right?

Correct. Being a writer entails a wider spectrum of tasks that one must consider. Writing on it's own, just isn't enough. You must read - a lot - and you must enjoy it.

But there has always been one aspect of writing I avoided like the plague - which my friend Dasia has right now. Not for realsies, but she does deserves a virtual hug -  editing.


Yes, editing has been something I've tried to avoid for much too long. I've been doing a darn good job of it too. Tossing completed first drafts into my own slushpile, to be edited later.

Later just never came. Until now.

I'm not at all addicted to Twitter <---sarcasm for those new to the planet. As such, I would never blame it for my sudden panic attack.
If, however, I was addicted and if  I wanted something to blame, then it would be Twitter. I was trolling Twitter and my favourite blogs, when it hit me. Everyone is SO much further ahead in their writing career. I use the word career loosely, as I know some people will say... I haven't made any money off my writing, therefore it is not a career. You lie, Angie! You LIE!


My panic attack unfolded as such:

Huh, everyone is submitting query letters and contacting agents. OH EM GEE, should I? Wait - there's nothing for me to flog. I haven't actually finished  anything. DAMN IT! 

So this, my dear reader, is when I realized that if an agent came up to me tomorrow and said:

Hey! You are rockin' awesome! Can I see some of your completed manuscripts?

(Let's pretend this could happen, okay? Okay.) 

I'd have to say: Umm, no. Nothing is finished.

*Le Sigh*

I could very well miss out on the opportunity of a freakin' lifetime, all because I was too lazy - or whatever other excuses I've used - to edit.

Right now my dear buddy J. Birch is totally shaking his head at me. Sorry, Dude.

So there you have it. Two first draft novels complete, three in progress, four short stories, and countless poems, all waiting to be looked at. SHAMBLES, I tells ya!

My aversion to editing only extends as far as my own work. I am more than happy to help others. I'm part of two critique groups and always willing to give feedback to anyone. Apparently I am above helping myself?! In the immortal words of Charlie Brown - Good Grief.

No more tossing my first drafts to the side, for later. No more excuses. Time to suck it up, buttercup! I started editing my NaNoWriMo novel so when this mysterious agent does show up, I can whip it out with pride.

That does sound scandalous, doesn't it?


Alison DeLuca said...

Editing, *shudder*

The moment when you realize that you are (by that I mean: I am) addicted to -ly adverbs.

This is closely followed by the dreaded writer moment of having to write a third-person bio. "Alison enjoys wind-surfing and long walks on the beach...." Gah!

Angie Richmond said...

Oh yes. Those pesky -ly words are my weakness. Along with 'that' and 'had'. Good grief.

Thank you for the comment Alison!

Diane Fordham said...

Smiling at your post. You truly have an amazing way with words - very entertaining. Ahhh editing.. all a part of the process. I like editing (then again, I am a strange one). When I'm editing, I'm thinking .. wow, I have a completed manuscript here (pat on the back). :-)

Angie Richmond said...

Thanks, Diane! What a lovely thing to say :)

I hope one day I can share your enthusiasm for editing. For now, I'm just happy to be doing it regardless of how I feel.

Jo-Anne Teal (jtvancouver) said...

Well, I am so mad at you, I could just scream! ...nah, not really of course, just wanted to get your attention! I think editing will be a wonderful process for you (even if you don't) because you'll get to re-read all of your work and roll the wonderful ideas and storylines around in your head again. While doing this rereading, you'll remember where you wanted to go with the characters and their dilemmas and you can start to pick and choose word choices that make your good writing shine. Now hop to it! I want to read your novel(s)!! HUGS!

Angie Richmond said...

Thanks Jo-Anne! As usual you are wonderfully supportive :) You will get to read my novel(s), I promise! HUGS!

Maria said...

I SO am with you. I'm in exactly the same boat. Shall we paddle up the river together and get it done?

Unknown said...

Listen, Angie with the Assets, we are all in the same boat. Editing is never easy, yet we must grit our teeth and carry on.

As they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem ;)

Angie Richmond said...

We shall Maria! Thanks for the comment :)

This is so true Anna . I am dedicated to finishing my work!

Anonymous said...

I'm also in edit mode and the moment and it's not my favorite activity. Not by a long shot. But it's a necessary evil. So I reward myself for every chapter completed. I'm a sucker for even a small prize/gift/award.

Besides, they tell me it's all worthwhile in the end. I guess we'll find out, won't we?

Angie Richmond said...

Yes we will Diann! Thanks for commenting and good luck with your editing :)

k said...

Loved you post! Had me ROFL. I have...ahem...a slushpile too. Shh it's a secret.
And I also love ADVERBS! That's a secret too, don't tell nobody.

Angie Richmond said...

Oh I'm so glad you enjoyed it kkrafts! I promise not to tell any of your secrets ;)

I mean really, who says adverbs are bad? They are so awesomely, wonderfully pretty! Oops, that might be a little excessive.

Sara Leggeri said...

Hahaha! You make me giggle. I feel the same way about editing my own work. It's a pain in the a$$! It has to get done sometime though... right? Much love Angie :)

Angie Richmond said...

Thanks so much Sara! Good luck with the editing :)

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