The Value of Great Editors

As many of you know, I’ve been working on my next book. The working title is The Secrets of Creative Business.  My goal with the book is to integrate creativity, business, law, and spirit into one motivational and practical guide for people who have great ideas and want to make a living pursuing those ideas.

I finished the first draft of the manuscript a couple weeks ago. It’s about 100 pages single-spaced. In other words, it’s way too long.  :-)   I sent it off to a close friend who is also a great editor. She edited my previous two books and turned them both from OK to pretty dang good. I couldn’t have done it without her. She holds my feet to the fire and refuses to let me be lazy.

Well, she’s doing it again.  She called one section of my manuscript “crap” – and she’s right – I WAS being lazy that day. And, the subject of that day’s work is her area of professional expertise, so you can call that a perfect storm.

She also pointed out that my goal was to integrate creativity, spirit, law, and business – but that I had basically discussed each in separate sections. While I had integrated the four elements “between the covers” of the draft, I had not TRULY integrated the concepts. WOW!  That’s worth the price of admission folks, but it also comes with a cost. The cost is that to truly integrate the concepts, I’m going to have to reorganize the entire book. I’m going to have to rewrite the entire book.

Ugh!

I’ve been working on this book since February or March. I’ve been getting up at around 5am for most of that time in order to find the “space” to write. So, when Kari (editor) sent me her comments last night it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear “this is GREAT! I’ll just make a few edits/corrections/tweeks and this will fly.” I wanted to have the book available by the end of September or Mid October. Well, that’s not going to happen now. My goal is now to have the book on Amazon and B&N by the end of November so that people can get the book as a holiday gift or as inspiration for 2010 goals. It has been one of MY 2009 goals to complete this book, and having this book available is a major milestone on the path to my 2010 goals and beyond.

What now?

I just printed the 100 pages of manuscript to a hard copy (used the back-side of previously printed paper of course).  I’ll let it sit for a while while I get some other writing done. I have some shorter articles and essays due for some publications around the country so I’ll focus on those and give my book a little “space between” to breathe. Then I’ll find some mental space and reorganize how I approach the content. Then I’ll start the re-write with a completely blank file. I’ll let what I’ve already written inform new essays, but I vow to not copy and paste anything, nor to just retype. The next version of the book will be a complete re-WRITE. It’ll be a second draft and a first draft combined into one document.

Hopefully it’ll go pretty quickly when I find the groove.

And, I can always use the “non-crappy” sections of the current draft as individual articles or blog posts.

Ultimately, the duty of the author is not to his/her ego, but to his/her message.  Kari firmly declared that I have not lived up to that duty with the current manuscript. She also let me know the message is worth the effort.

Great editors do that.






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