Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Editing is hard work

For most of my career I've worked as a writer and while I did edit my work, other people were responsible for the final product. They gave me suggestions to improve the text, edited the content and the language and proof-read and generally made my words shine.

I'm not married to my words, so usually I'd just move on to the next story and the next one, noting that the final product reads and looks much better than what I started with but not thinking too hard about the work that went into the process.
Now as a publisher ( for own materials and other people's), I'm finally putting in the work that editors and publishers I worked with put in. And damn! It's harder work than I realised.

Maybe my perspective is skewed by the fact that, writing for me does not equal bleeding, but I'm starting to think that putting the words on the screen/paper is the easy part of the publishing process. If I had to choose, I'd rather spend all my work time researching and writing stories and having someone else edit, publish and promote my work. But the business of writing and publishing rarely allows for that luxury.

P.S. A big thank you to Keitu Reid for helping me fall in love with a couple of children's stories I wrote all over again. Keitu, I'm going to send you another one to read. I laughed out loud when I read it and I hope that in future, parents and children who read the story will also laugh with me.


Pamela said...

Hey, D, I still have my copy of the Doll That Grew and I love it. Would love to read some more of your children's stories too. I always say that editing, like renovating a house, is much harder than starting from scratch, i.e. building from the beginning (writing from scratch). My mother used to say those who can do and those who can't teach. I don't think it follows that those who can write and those who can't edit. Usually a person has both skills but editing pays the bills. :-)

Damaria Senne said...

@ Pam - I also think the publishing industry at this stage requires an author to have both skills.

I'm glad you love The Doll That Grew. I still marvel that I actually got it published at all, considering how young I was when I submitted the manuscript and the way I submitted it ( handwritten on an A4 page, and then posted to the publishing company's address with no particular editor in mind).

Ja, those were the days:-)

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