While sitting in Starbucks two days ago, a guy looked up from his iPad and said, “I wouldn’t wanna deal with that mess.”

Laughter. He held a sliver of technolgoical goodness. I held a stack of 538 pieces of paper, scooting this way and that. Crumpled. Bent. Torn. Scrambled.

This is the second stage of editing your own book. The first is writing the damn thing and reading over as much as you can as it’s going along. The second is printing the fucker out, finding a quiet corner, whipping out a pen and marking it up. That’s where I’m at as we speak.

This probably sounds easy, but it’s not entirely. First, I’m the crack addict who’s lying on the floor, black and blue and down to 45 pounds. I don’t want another rock. But what choice do I have? I’ve been with this particular subject for more than 1 1/2 years. It’s consumed my every day, and a part of me … never … wants … to … think … about … this … again. And yet, I love this book. LOVE it. Am passionate about the subject, and aspire for it to be great. Will it be? Don’t know. Can only try my best.

I digress. My life right now is combing, marking, combing, marking. Just actually finished with page 538, which means I now have to type the changes into the Word document. Then I’ll print out an updated version, read that. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Draft is due at month’s end.


PS: Forgot to mention the hardest part—repeats. Words … phrases that a writer turns to over and over and over again. The wife mocks me for this, and rightly. My vices: Ensuing, whereas, however, though, engulfed, hence

2 thoughts on “Combing”

  1. My repeating tick was using phrases referring to the gluteus maximus, if you can believe it. “Fannies in the seats,” “pat on the ass and a thank you,” like that. My editor laughed and laughed…
    Can’t believe you print the whole thing out and edit that way. I’d go blind..

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