Editing is the CPR of Writing

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I finished another round of edits yesterday, picking my way through the manuscript and hitting the end. And this time, it’s finally starting to feel like a book.

Phew.

It happens every time. I go back and see what I’ve put down during the writing phase, and sometimes, it seems like it falls apart in my hands, this bit and that bit and that one. But slowly, pass by pass, it finally starts to take shape until it’s something.

I’m not done, not by any means, but with this run through, I got to the point where I could see it, gleaming below the surface, the whole thing. It’s like sculpting, I imagine, with the way some people describe it as seeing what is already in the stone.

But until that happens, the nagging doubt dominates. Was it a waste of time? Were they pointless, all those hours of fingers flying over keyboard, all that time staring out of the window and seeing nothing but what should come next?

For the first time since writing that final sentence, I’m hoping maybe not. Writing gives you the raw material, but it’s the editing that gives the material life.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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