Editing. This is the “heavy lifting” of book writing. I know, I know, it’s taking me a very long time to finish my Lifetime Book, but you can insert any of the typical procrastination excuses here: “I didn’t finish it yet because ________________.” (my dog ate my manuscript, my PC lost the file, I had to walk the dog, etc etc etc).
But perhaps the most truthful reason I procrastinate when writing is because I dread the “heavy lifting” of proof-reading, editing and revising. If there is any good reason to procrastinate it is to let the manuscript sit for a while so that the next time you pick it up, you will see it in an entirely different light. You’ll recognize errors that you missed before. You’ll read it with a more critical eye. Anyway this was my experience yesterday.
In proofreading and editing Chapter 1, “135 Lake Street,” I would say I changed about 35% of the text.
Let’s take the first sentence of the book, which is probably the most crucial for capturing the attention of your reader. Here’s how I wrote it originally:
“I was born at Margaret Hague Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey on July 26, 1951 to Marie and John Poklemba.”
Oh YAWN! But let’s not be too hard on this (or me). One way to conquer the fear of the “blank page,” is to get something down on paper, ANYTHING, until the creative juices start flowing. So with that perspective, the first sentence in my first writing of the book is okay.
Here’s how I improved it yesterday:
Named “Julianne” after my maternal grandmother “Julia,” and Saint Ann, on whose “day” I was born, I entered this world in the nursery at Margaret Hague Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey on July 26, 1951.
That’s better, isn’t it? Let me know what you think.