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On the editing process

June 13, 2013

The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say a brain surgeon.

Robert Cormier

I was listening to a speaker at a writer’s conference commenting that of all the creative pursuits like painting, drawing, sculpting etc. that writing is only one where you have editors and publishers suggesting alterations. Normally artistic pursuits are critiqued but not to the point of suggesting the artist change something in their picture or work of art.

Sometimes writers are very touchy about their manuscripts believing it to be the best they can make it. It is somewhat disillusioning to have an editor suggesting quite a lot of changes and your final manuscript suddenly becomes a first draft in an editor’s eyes.

However reading this quote by Robert Cormier made me realize there is an up side to the editing process. I don’t have to get it right the first time; I don’t even have to pretend it is right the first time. I can slap words on a page and know it will be read, and reread and reread before it ever hits the public arena, even if it is only me re-reading it for my blog.

Somehow there is quite a lot of comfort in knowing this. It takes the pressure off knowing I don’t have to be perfect…and also thankful that I am not a brain surgeon!

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith