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I’m revising. Last night I tore through thirty pages of edits and feel good with the progress made on my manuscript. I’m hoping to be done tonight. Hoping–but not holding my breath.

A long time ago, when I was doing a book signing for my first book, I met another author–Carole Warburton. She was with a bigger publisher (the one I’m now with), and I was in awe of her. She gave me some advice, advice that is useful every day in my career.

She taught me about edits.

“Edits aren’t evil,” she’d said. “Edits are a chance to prove you can do it better.”

So when it comes time to do an edit on a book I’ve written, I repeat her words in my mind. Edits are a chance to prove I can do it better. I love a challenge. Of course I can do it better! Just watch and see.

I only wish I could manipulate my reality the same way I manipulate my written world.  I wish I had a delete button when I say something completely stupid. I wish I could rearrange parts of my day so they fit better and accomplish more, the same way I rearrange paragraphs on a page.

In reality, just like with writing, of course I can do better when I don’t get it right. Of course I can be more patient. Of course I can speak words of compassion, love, and respect. I can edit my  future, but that doesn’t delete the deeds of the past. It’s vexing–this reality thing.

The important thing is knowing where we can do better and working towards that. Thanks Carole. The advice is useful all these years later.

Cross My Heart actually has a book launch date–November 4th! It’ll be food, fun, and prizes so be there! The address and details will come in the next few days. Sorry about the delay on that. I’m heading to California to do  a book signing at the Disneyland Hotel and we’re making a family trip out of it so it’s been tough to get all the scheduling to work out. Thanks for being patient with me.

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13 Responses
  1. Lori says:

    “Edits aren’t evil,” she’d said. “Edits are a chance to prove you can do it better.”

    I tend to be uptight in my writing, but I’m learning to loosen up. Thinking of editing as an opportunity to prove I can do better indeed makes it not seem daunting.

  2. L.T. Elliot says:

    I wish I could edit my daily life, too. Oh, the stupid things I’d delete, the ignorant hurts I caused, the impatient snips and snipes…I think I’d spend all day editing. But I love that you said you try harder to “write” life better because we don’t have a delete button. We can’t take it all back so we have to do better.

    As for the writing side of things, I’ve learned that the delete key is second only to cut-and-paste. 😉

  3. I love this post–wish I had a delete button for things I’ve said and done. i’ll just keep reminding myself, I can do better, I can do better, i can do better.

    How exciting to do a signing at Disneyland!! Very cool!

  4. Kristina P. says:

    I wish I could just delete about the first 6 months of my blog.

  5. Thanks for the mention Julie. You’re awesome!

  6. Cheri Chesley says:

    That’s brilliant advice. It’s taken me longer to get to that point, but in a way I look forward to the editing stage. Of course, sometimes, I just want to write 🙂

  7. kathleen says:

    Nice post. Good advice!

  8. Carolyn V says:

    California! That is so awesome!
    This is a great post! Something I need to hear, since I am stuck in the middle of revisions. =)

  9. Jenn Wilks says:

    I agree about the editing – I’ve always loved editing because my rough drafts always suck (like, BIG TIME) and editing is my chance to un-suck-ify them.

    Think of the real-life mistakes of the past as being books you’ve already published and put on the shelf. It’s too late to change them, but you can learn from your mistakes to make your current WiP better. 😀

    Good luck with your signing! I’d LOVE to come to your signing, but a bunch of us are going to be up in Park City the 4th – 6th. Any chance you’re coming up there??? :o)

  10. L.T. Elliot says:

    I’m learning this about edits and learning to love them.

    I just saw an ad for CROSS MY HEART in a catalog I got in the mail today! Hooray!

  11. Christy says:

    Edits are not evil. Good advice. And I love how you apply that to life. Yes, I can do better and I will. Have fun at Disneyland.

  12. I love that thought… edits aren’t evil. Even with 10 years in journalism, I still cringe when I have to do edits. I’m getting better, though.

    So how did the release go?

  13. Did you post about your book launch? I must have missed it 🙁

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