Monday, June 8, 2015

Broken stride

Two things recently coincided. I stumbled, and failed to keep up a consecutive week of writing, and the second round of edits for the novel began. I received the file middle of last week, the very same evening when I reminded myself to email my editor the following day, because it had been some weeks since I last heard from her. The email the file was attached to was warmer than the first, even complimentary. She said the novel was close, had very few problem areas left, and that she enjoyed working with me on it. When I finally opened it and started working on Saturday, I saw what she meant. It was almost as if the hands that had touched that edited version were gentler, and more accepting. It felt like she was beginning to understand, and that felt great.

Then on yesterday I stumbled. There were lots of moving pieces to a social weekend, but I know, looking back, that I had enough time to sit down and commit. I just didn't. In that regard, despite to what extent I enjoyed myself, I came away disappointed in my effort. I was in a good rhythm, and now it's going to be another uphill battle to get that back. The one good thing I can say is that never once have I thought about putting it down, or hanging it up, whatever the metaphor.

Which is one of the main reasons a former co-worker reached out to me in request to help him with some writing he's doing. It's academic, so that's that, but still, it is putting words on a page. I recently went to a lecture of a friend who studies in the sciences, and I have a better understanding of the writing that they do, which is mostly a clever and strategic organization of a lot of someones else's words, very little of their own, so I won't compare it to that. But when I asked my colleague why me, because I correctly surmised that he knew other writers, he told me because of all the writers he knew, I was the one who had stuck with it. Which is not how I would describe it, but I took the compliment anyway. It was nice, at least, to be perceived as someone that hadn't yet given up, no matter what else was going on in my life.

Thus, in regard to attaining my earlier pace, I have a few conflicts. This extra work for my colleague should take some concentration, and of course the game is progressing into its third week. I can say that the second round edits will be done before this weekend though. I worked for hours and hours on Saturday and Sunday so that I would be able to accomplish that, and I only have about a third of the manuscript left to peruse. It's cleaner this time. I've been amazed, and finally comfortable, with the fingerprints an editor leaves on a manuscript, how a specific person creates clarity and conciseness. This one has a thing with the word however (I do use it alot) but has no problem apparently with a bit (which a different editor despised). This editor uses the long dash-- a technique I never quite developed. Previous individuals I worked with, not so much. So, yet another journey.

Summer is setting in, and with it, the memory of where I was and what I was doing when I needed a jacket to go outside. Time moves on in apathetic fashion, and I am off again, attempting to catch up.

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