average looking edit

On the Hidden Side of Writing a Book

A lot of people who want to write a book get intimidated when they see the true amount of work that goes into actually writing and editing a book. To some, it’s inspiring, but to most, it’s intimidating, and it scares them away from writing.

I think one of the underlying problems is that, socially speaking, writing books isn’t a transparent process. You see people talking about the book they’re writing on a blog post, or on Tumblr, or through some celebrity interview, and it doesn’t seem like a hard thing to do. Sure, some people have an idea of the time commitment, but you rarely see the editing and revisions that authors can spend thousands of hours on.

A reason for this could be that a lot of people do their editing on a computer, so once the changes are saved, the original is gone forever. Very few people choose to print out 200+ pages and edit by hand.

I print out at least four drafts of my books, and edit with a red pen, before I feel the story is solid enough to revise the rest on a computer. Why? Because editing by hand forces you to move slow. You can see WHERE you want to move things. You can write notes in the margins to flip back to at any given moment, or reminders to yourself when you go to input the changes on a computer. Editing by hand let’s you mull over sentences, and very rarely will you miss a word when you handwrite it, as is so common when typing from memory.

Another advantage to revising by hand is the fact that there’s no commitment. At the time of editing, you might feel like something needs to be changed/moved/reworded, but when you go to type it on the computer later, you might decide it flows fine and doesn’t need to be changed. I’ve changed my mind so many times because I got to think about the revision twice, instead of once, and it’s worked out well!

^^what my average edited page looks like

Yes, editing by hand takes a long, long, long time. On average, it takes me 45 mins to an hour PER PAGE – as compared to 15-20 mins when I revise on the computer. Like I said before, editing by hand let’s you engage with the writing on a deeper level the first couple times through. (When people tell me they revised the second draft of their 300+ page book in like 6 hours, I stare at them, thinking, How? That’s literally just over a minute per page!!!) It takes me two or three months to revise each of the first four drafts. And then another four to five with beta readers.

Writing can be intimidating. But when you put in the time, and read your book 8, 9, 10 or more times, it’s so rewarding. No one busts out the perfect book in one draft. NO ONE. If you see people publishing books left and right, and then decide to write your own, expect it to be the most time-consuming project you will EVER do in your entire life. Literally.

But when you’ve got that book in your hands two or three years later, you can say, “I made this.”

Keep the faith

A simple song I made for gruvia week

© superduperizee

the hell does it means when you get super dehydrated at random when it’s not even hot, when you aren’t hangover, ate no salty food etc. 7 water bottles a day like?? my body needs to get its shit together