Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On Edits and Evergreens

I'm in the midst of a very tedious, bird-by-bird edit of an enormous project for one of my favorite clients. It's a legacy project -- one over 5 years in development that took over 2 years to write. I'm not only proofing for grammatical and punctuation errors, but I'm also looking for format, style, and layout issues. The completed project, including supplemental material is over 175,000 words -- the equivalent of 4 full non-fiction projects... I spent the entire day making sure every comma was in the right place.

The tone for the day was set when I received the news that the winners of the 3-Day Novel Contest have been announced. And they are not me. Or I am not they.

In any case -- I'm not on the list. Evidently, the writing I do while recuperating from the swine flu is not up to snuff. Most depressing.

And the edit continues.

It's a necessary thing, this edit. And I'm happy to do it. But it's slow going. It's an odd layout with thin margins, nearly no white space, and skinny, squished sans-serif font -- which means that in a very short time span, my right eye develops an irritating involuntary twitch and begins to beg for mercy. And at the end of the day, there isn't a creative cell in my body that's willing to stand up and insist that I pay attention to it.

Which means that when the edit is done, I'm going to have to spend a day or two recharging my vision and my muse.

Earlier today, I served as a guest contributor on Missy Frye's Incurable Disease of Writing blog. My piece explains how writers can use evergreens (finished, polished pieces) to keep the momentum of their careers going while still taking time to regroup after finishing a major project.

It appears that the timing is fortuitous. I'm looking forward to spending a day with my evergreens. I can't wait to take my own advice.

If I ever get this edit finished...

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