Monday, March 18, 2013

#GuestPost Lust and the Editing Process by Darlene Steelman

 I love having other writers on my blog talk about the writing process, and when Darlene Steelman asked I could not say no. I am back in school now after a long break from school thanks to Spring break, and now I will be back to blogging.

Take it away Darlene...

Lust and the Editing Process

Writing.  It's difficult, thankless most of the time and can have us sweeping up giant clumps of ripped out hair in less than an hour.  If you are a writer, you can relate to this.  If you're thinking of becoming a writer, don't let that description scare you. 

While writing is not easy (like most of the non-writing population seems to think) the rewards are bountiful if you're in it for the right reasons. The first being you love to write.  The second being you can take a beating like a champ.

This morning, I read a fascinating post on Writer's Digest titledThe Seven Deadly Sins of Self-Editing.”  These deadly sins can be applied to any facet of writing.

Today I am going to talk about the first deadly sin on the list:  LUST. As writers, lust can be great if done in moderation (ha ha!  Good luck).  However, lusting for our name plastered all over the window and shelves at Barnes & Noble or front page of Amazon can have an admonishing effect on our writing.

In this day an age of savvy technology and pretty much half the world population resorting to self-publishing, I have to be honest.  A lot of the stuff I am reading these days is total crap.  Some of the work is very good but a lot of it is just garbage.  And I sit there and think, “how is this person published and I am not?  This book sucks!”

I get wanting to be published, famous, or just getting the manuscript in print so we can forget about it and go back to the daily grind of alarm clocks and yelling at traffic.  I really do.  However, putting out a half-cocked book will lead us to an empty cave of sorrow and assumed failure. 

I have one suggestion to offer you as a writer:  get someone else to edit your work. Don't get your sister, your best friend or your cat to edit the thing.  If you're serious, get someone reputable that will tell you like it is (much like that angry chef on the food network).  Yes, it will most likely cost you money.  In the end, however, you'll have a great novel, book or memoir and the gains (both financial and egotistical) will far outweigh the cash you spent.

Writers who don't write for the right reasons have this narcissistic self-absorbed idea that their work is awesome and needs no editing... what?  Yes.  They edit their own work before final publication and then in a sea of haste they publish it themselves. Go ahead, blast me if you must.  But remember, I am a writer so I speak for myself as well. I used to edit my own blog posts after I wrote them in haste and threw them up.  “Bah, this is good enough.” Good enough?Now, I get someone else to take a look at them because there is always... always something wrong.  Always. That goes for novels, screenplays, short stories, poems and anything else in between.

So go ahead and lust after that book contract, your name in lights or a seat at the table for your book signing. Use that lust to make sure your work is pristine. Trust me, you'll build a name for yourself and sleep better (with or without the stuffed bunny).

And if you want to here more from her then here is the link to her blog:
Her Twitter: @DarleneSteelman.
Facebook Fanpage link:

I hope everyone enjoyed the post.

Until next time,

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