You can not self edit your work

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As I looked over the 400 page manuscript my friend sent me. I felt really bad. It looked like someone’s nose bled all over it. I grabbed a juicy red pen and found every syntax, grammar, spelling, and logic error I could.

Then I gave it back to her. She was a bit miffed. Not at me –  I did my job. My typing is atrocious and I always came in 5th at the spelling bees. I sat down and read her book. Then I read it again while pointing out errors. There were a lot.

She kissed me and then paid me ( hey I am a starving artist). She noted that she will retype it and forward it to me again after she re-edits the edit.

People, you can not edit your own work! Stuff that sounds perfectly reasonable in my head sounds cray cray on paper. I have written literally dozens of papers and they all have one thing in common. I had someone else read for mistakes.

My friend Becky did not take my edit of her cover letter too well.

I was insisting that it was just a few errors (12) and she did a basically good job. She went off! Then I had to get into reasonable school marm mode. “Look dear, I am your friend.”  As a former small business owner, manager, and consulting recruiter for an investment firm, I can tell you, 2 errors equal circular file. If you do not use spell check, grammar check, a dictionary, and proper sentence structure, I would not hire you as a janitor.

She was on fire and being a bit argumentative. I reminded her that moi,  a self styled writer and editor, does not edit her own work. (I pointed to my first blog on here, which still has errors galore)

“You don’t understand! ” – Well yes dear I do. You were being lazy and assumed I would rewrite your work, for free, and then you could push my work off as your own. She was then given 5 additional minutes to rant. I then shut her down. On those rare moments that I am paid by the hour, I charge a nice penny. She was wasting my time.

“Go home and think about what I said please. I want your job search to be successful. I need more people to borrow cash off of” She laughed, kissed me, and agreed. ( the other girl gave me cash with her kiss) I often have “editors block” and have to go back and re- read and take notes. I do not enjoy editing. It is a necessary evil. I just looked over some of my old work and found several errors. I asked my friend to take a gander. She took my red pen and scribbled all over while laughing. Then she said the “mighty Oz has fallen” followed by slowly saying “the principle is your pal”.… I told her to “f” herself and snatched it back. It will never be published anyway. “I’m an artist dang it! ” and I can not edit my own stuff worth shet. 🙂

Copy editors rock

-Melissa

 

What is the cure for writer’s block?

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Maybe I should get in a conversation with a stranger regarding some taboo subject. They will not be able to shut me up. I find it very frustrating to note that when I write for myself it is difficult but when I have written for others I cut spit it out while watching tv and eating a salad. Maybe I care more because what I write now represents me and I want it to be perfect – all the while knowing that perfection is never possible? My goal is to finish a book I am working on so I can self publish it and a few short stories I have. Since starting I have co written literally a few hundred pages of tech papers, blogs, tweets, etc etc. Hmmm maybe I should pretend like there is a big fat check waiting on me if I finish! Maybe, that will get the brain juices flowing.