Joy of Editing

My Saturdays are kind of broken. They start with an early morning of helping to get my son ready for daycare. Even though it is a weekend I try and approach Saturday like it is at least a half day of work and even a half day is impossible with the little guy around.

So I take him in and drop him off and try not to fill guilty about it. On the bus ride back I start making a mental list of all the things I should be doing that day. There hasn’t been a Saturday yet where I have accomplished everything on that list.

On most days, like today, by the time I get on the bus to go pick him up I’m merely trying to not kick myself for not being more productive. It doesn’t matter that I needed some rest, or that I did accomplish many of the things in my list. There are dishes in the sink that need washing. My ukulele lies untouched after being promised it would get exercised today.

At least I managed to get some of the editing done. And I was happy not only with the results of the edits but also that the unedited writing wasn’t terrible. And I try not to listen to the voice that says it still probably needs two more oases of editing to get all the terribleness off of it.

I’m in a mood where I hate editing. Even with help it is like I am looking at all the concentrated awful in my writing. There are all ththe mistakes that keeps it from being ready for the world. It is a tremendous amount that can only be chipped away at.

It is a depressing task that erodes at my confidence. It is laborious and lacks the payoff of seeing pages go from white to black like in actual writing. Sure, it’s essential. But it’s also soul crushing.

And it never really ends. Sure, at some point I’ll finish, but that doesn’t mean the book will be perfect. It will never be perfect. The book can get good and if I’m lucky some will think it is great, but it will never be perfect.

I’ll edit until I’m sick of this book and then I’ll edit some more. I’ll edit until I no longer can objectively tell what’s good and what isn’t. I’ll keep getting help from fiends and family who do me the incredible favor as serving as beta-readers.

I’ll edit until I’m sick to my stomach.

I’ll edit while my wife/artist finishes (starts) the cover and interior illustrations.

I’ll edit as I format the book again and again.

I’ll edit as my timeline draws near and I know it is time to start the crowdfunding campaign.

I’ll edit until I send the final draft to the printers.

I’ll edit until I’ve spent more time doing that than the actual writing.

And part of me knows that no matter how long this editing takes within five minutes of having a fresh copy on my hand I’ll find an error. Perhaps a simple typo, an easy fix.

Becuae it will never be perfect.

And I hate editing.

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