As I sat down to write this post, I realized that my job is basically a game of “spot the difference.” Because what is editing if it’s not finding things that are not what they’re supposed to be? On one hand, you have a tpyo, and on the other hand, you have the dictionary. The word is “typo.” Spot the difference!
And for this I spent thousands of dollars in school fees and hours upon hours of studying. HA!
Speaking of words, have you ever noticed how many four-letter words you can spell out of the letters S-P-O-T?
Okay, the first question is one I ask regularly and has nothing to do with what I really want to write about. I ask myself where I’m going on a daily, sometimes hourly basis when I get up to do something and I have so much on my mind that I forget what I got up for.
Writing that, I realize it’s all the same beast.
I have too many things on the go. I’m taking courses to further my editing career (please don’t judge this post on any level where grammar is concerned–I’m not allowed to edit it), and I’m taking courses to further my writing career. I’m working full time at the editing job, part time at the writing gig, and learning to boot.
As my mother would say, I’ve got too many minds to go mad.
I have a schedule for myself–my editing and my writing–but that’s all I have listed. Then there are the dozens of other things I do during the day.
I swear, I take multi-tasking to a whole ‘nother level. And what’s worse? I’m still not getting everything done that I need to do.
The good news is I’ve got a few new novels coming out–I’ve written two and a half since November and finished another one. And at least one of those novels will be free for subscribers to my newsletter! Which I have to get organized and start sending out regularly. It’s got cobwebs on it at the moment.
Crickets stuck in cobwebs.
Where was I?
Haha! See what I mean?
So yeah. I’m afraid something is going to have to give, and I have no idea what. It SHOULD probably be social media. I’ve already all but given up my constant Twittering. Facebook is like the alien in Alien–stuck to my face and breeding somewhere in my innards.
There’s something to think about just before bed.
You can see the authoring thing is something I come by honestly. It doesn’t stop.
The imagination, that is. Not stealing other people’s ideas …
I’d’ve’nt (I would have not) had the insaneissue of being too tired to write this post if I’d been able to sleep last night.
And the night before.
I’d’ve’nt had the insane issue of being alone to look after my mum (who’s okay, by the way–thanks for all the good wishes) if I hadn’t been an only child.
But there was nothing I could do about that.
I’d’ve’nt had the insane issue of wanting to learn everything now, if I hadn’t been me.
But I am.
I’d’ve’nt had the insane issue of having to keep remembering how to spell “I’d’ve’nt” every second line if I hadn’t asked for a suggestion for an “I” word.
But I did. (Thanks again.)
I’d’ve’nt had the insane issue of wondering if “I’d’ve’nt” shouldn’t be spelled “I’d’ve’n’t” if I hadn’t been an editor.
But that’s one of the things I HAVE learned.
And it’s bugging me.
Because there’s no red squiggly line under I’d’ve’n’t.
So someone out there agrees with me.
I’d’ve’n’t had the insane issue of figuring out how to end this post if I hadn’t started it.
Thanks to the three people who gave me my three “I” words for today’s “n’t A – Z” post. You’ll find two blogs and one Twitter account under the three links for “I’d’ve’nt,” “issue,” and “insane.”
Looking for “J” words … anyone got a “J” word for me? One per person, keep it clean if you please. I’ll accept the first three I get … remember, the oldest comments are at the bottom of all the comments on my posts.
I don’t like criticizing people. Okay, maybe I do criticize members of my family and my best friend once in a while (shut up, John), but people I don’t know very well–people who might take my criticism the wrong way–I don’t like to criticize. Why not? Because I don’t want them to think I’m judging them. I like to think of myself as non-judgmental. Really, I don’t judge.
So what did I do? I chose editing as a career. Possibly one of the most critic-heavy jobs one can do. I criticize people’s writing for a living.
Maybe it’s being critical without being judgmental that’s the biggest challenge for me. And I do love a challenge. What I do NOT do is judge people’s writing. I don’t judge people on their ability to write a certain way, or on their lack of knowing the difference between “discrete” and “discreet,” for instance.
Look at it this way:
I can tell you your fly is open without judging you. That might be seen as criticizing your ability to remember to do your fly up, but still, I don’t judge you for it. I assume it was a mistake and that you’re not trying to flash me. My biggest reason for telling you is so you’ll do it up before someone comes along and laughs at you for it, less discreetly than I did.
The difference between that and editing? After all, ideally, I edit before someone indiscreetly points and at you and judges you for not knowing the difference between “discrete” and “discreet.”
The difference is, you don’t have to spend thousands of hours learning how to notice someone’s fly is down. You just have to have a good eye. Or a bad eye. Don’t judge me!!
It’s been more than a year since I secured (and paid for, twice so far) my editing website. I have a price schedule set out, and I have testimonials from a few authors. Like, people who would testify that I know how to grammar and everything. (Please don’t judge me by that last sentence. I’m joking.) And yet, I’ve been too busy–editing, mostly–to complete the website. I have return clients lined up who will potentially keep me working for the better part of the year, though I’m not precisely sure when they’ll call on me.
But it isn’t only being busy that’s prevented me from setting up shop. My home life gets so chaotic sometimes that I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up with the demands of the job. Which is a completely unfounded fear, because aside from the instances when my clients haven’t delivered their work on time, I’ve never missed a deadline. My own doubts are preventing me from expanding my horizons, so to speak.
So that’s that–that’s all the news on that front.
And it gave me an excuse to use the word “testify.”
One for the record books–the day I was a full hour and fifteen minutes late starting on my own prompt.
A few times today (yesterday) I actually sat down to write this, but I got distracted. Pulled away, or at the very least had the feeling that if I started, I wouldn’t be able to finish.
Which is my most-used excuse for not writing fiction.
So I’m sitting here now, in the wee hours of Sunday morning with my cup of peppermint tea, waiting for the Tylenol to kick in. And now, I will close my eyes and type.
How are our words precious?
They have such power. Our voices–the way we communicate, whether by voice itself or by written word–have the power to affect so much. So many others. It’s not the words themselves, but the way we choose to use them. Our expressions, our tone, our gestures … our voice.
Writers starting out are often confused over what we refer to as authorial voice. As an editor, I can see a writer’s voice as plain as day. It’s much like we speak. Because our thoughts drive both our speech and the way we write, they come out very similar in structure.
And those inner voices … Those, if we really pay attention to them, show the real us, if only to ourselves. Can you imagine if we said everything we thought? Ha! My stream of consciousness just went haywire. If only I could type as fast as I think.
But maybe I overthink things like this because I have such a passion for words. They have the potential for such beauty and such ugliness, all of which drive the human spirit–create our experiences of others and even ourselves. They can inspire us and they can scar us. Lift us up or drive us into the pit of despair.
Words are precious.
If we could all use them both wisely and with kindness and empathy, the world could be without conflict.
As the last door I went through that wasn’t mine was my son’s school door, it got me to thinking about my own school. I refer to it as mine loosely, for two reasons. One is I haven’t taken a course in almost a year–I’ve either been too busy making money to afford one, or too broke to afford one. There has to be a solution there somewhere … Save the money? Yeah. But I keep spending it on stupid things like hydro and gas.
The other reason I hesitate to call it my school is I’ll probably never walk through the front door of it. According to Google maps, it’s about 4,600km (2,858 miles) away, which is apparently a 42-hour drive. That’s one hell of a commute every day … or every four days if I don’t sleep. It really looks like a lovely place though. https://www.sfu.ca/ Lovely enough that I’ll try to visit one day.
Weird that we now have the technology and means to go anywhere in the world, but we rarely do. I imagine if I cut off my Internet and saved the money instead to fly around the world, I’d get out a lot more. But then, how would I know where to go without the Internet to show me the great places I could visit? Sure, I could go to restaurants and use their Internet, but that would result in spending my money again. Especially if I have to drag the kids along so they could get their Internet fixes. Yeah, bad idea.
My to-do list is once again way over the top. I find it much easier when that list is dominated by stuff I have to do for other people. When I promise someone I will, for instance, have their editing job done on a certain day, nine times out of ten I get it done early. I’m able to concentrate better when I have someone counting on me. I have discipline. When it’s only me counting on me, I have none.
At the moment I’m supposed to be working on three short stories (I have a deadline for two of them, but they’re not motivating me yet), one of which I’ve gone as far as creating a Word document and naming. Not a single word in the document itself. The other two I have great ideas for, but the deadline for the first is closer. As someone wise once said (Stephen King?) starting is the hardest part.
My excuse for not working on my novel is I’m waiting for a beta reader to get back to me. I could work on it anyway, but there’s this short story …
All in all it seems I’m the last person on my to-do list who has any clout. I love to make other people happy by getting their work done on time, but me–meh. I’m not that important. I need to find a way to change that. And I need to find a way to stop procrastinating. In other words, I need to get off my ass and do things for me.