Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Trust Your Readers Not to Break the Plate
What you see here is a platter that they sent home with my mother-in-law after her last visit to their house before my wife's grandparents moved. It took me days to see what this platter looked like... because I couldn't bring myself to disturb this astounding duct tape wrapping.
It was a lot of duct tape.
You and I are on the same page right now with our posts... ruminating about writing. (But my picture, taken by my seven-year-old, is a little more aesthetically pleasing... no duct tape, just a butterfly bush. :)
Anyway, thanks for the encouragement to "unwrap" my writing!
Karl, good to hear from you, man. I hope you didn't spill coffee on yourself or anything.
That's my difficulty with my writing -- like my writing, like me; hate my writing, hate me. It's all so personal. I guess if I wrap anything up in duck tape, it's me even more than the pieces themselves.
Thanks for the great metaphor. It will help me today as I write.
As an editor, I have found that the more professional writers get it. Of course, they can because they have the affirmation of being published.
The most difficult and moody writers are often the academics. I've had a few people flat out refuse to be edited--often in a way that insults my editing efforts.
I don't like being insulted, but they don't have to accept my edits. However, I'll sure think twice before asking them to write for us again.
Part of the reason I'm posting an entire book here is to show my writers that editing and writing are completely different. I'm a decent editor but only an average writer.
So many writers take editorial advice as some kind of competitive challenge. As if I'm saying, "Hey man, I could do this better than you." But that's not it at all. I can just see the text with an objective eye. And my job is to make the hard calls, cut the sentences that don't support the vision of the piece.
Long comment, but there you have it.
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