Today I mostly edited. I woke up to discover some articles I had written for a company had been purchased, and a fifth received an edit request. I got that taken care of, but it didn’t make the invoicing deadline at noon. So, it will have to go onto next week’s invoice.
This evening I worked on the book, editing a very hard chapter. Most of my edits have been removing stilted language and killing adverbs. Chucking some truly bad writing. My passive voice has gotten out of control, so I’ve been trimming that. Flipping stuff around to knock out those be verbs. It’s making my prose stronger at least.
I finished a whole chapter and a short scene that went with it. The trick is to keep at the mind-numbing process of editing long enough–and without distractions–to get a feel for the story, the tone, and where you want to take it. Somehow you have to do this without being on social media, hitting friends up to see what they are doing, or eating everything you can in the house.
The worst thing about editing is even if I text someone, or post something stupid on someone’s Facebook, I look back at it and think of how I could have said it better.
I think the best way to keep myself honest and effective with editing is to prepare myself to share whatever I’ve written with someone else. It’s a lot like inviting a stranger into your house. Do you want them to see the usual mess? Or do you want them to see the best version of you?
Today was a strange day too, when I realized I don’t really miss some people anymore. I just miss the feeling of missing them because it was a little bit of hope to hang onto. In some ways, hope has been my undoing for a very long time. It has been something I’ve been holding onto just to keep my mind occupied. There’s an emptiness left behind now. Like cold rain under the streetlights.