Word of the Week #179:

Citrus

When I was just beginning editing—as well as just before—I spoke to a few others who had done that before me, just to get a sense of the path that lay ahead.

A lot of the negatives I heard were all the same: It is a dead-end job that gets real annoying real fast.

And I did not hear any positives whatsoever.

Regardless, I needed the money, so I took the job…

I remember I wrote in my application that I hoped the job would help me grow as a writer and as a human. Now, of course, those were hopes, so I did not really lie, but I did not expect that to actually happen.

It has been five months since I began. Let us take a quick look at how I feel about the job so far.

First, with respect to the technical part of writing including the nitty-gritty of punctuation and grammatical conventions, I have already grown significantly. However, that was well within the realm of expectation, so I don’t make of that.

I have also learned a lot about the creative aspect of writing. Watching the mistakes others make in their stories and analysing the consequences can be a learning experience.

This analysis helped me understand why I never liked James Bond movies. The titular character never grows or evolves, either within or across movies. His experiences never truly change him. The consequences of the events in the movies lose impact when you never see even the characters in the thick of things be completely unaffected by them.

Some bombs will explode, some vehicles will be destroyed, some women will be bedded, some people will be killed, some crises will be averted, and at the end of it all, things will go back to the way they were. Then what is the point of the story? To show a man ensuring nothing ever changes? I don’t get it.

Well, anyway… It has made me improve as a writer.

In addition to this, I have had a chance to edit a large number of self-help books, and the advice held within them has already affected me.

One book taught me how to improve my credit score. So I did.
One book taught me how to make my work outs more effective and efficient. So I did.
One book taught me how to acquire and hone certain skills I might need. So I did.
One book taught me how humans with potential may squander their gifts. So, well, this one I did not.

You get the overall point, right?

Now, I am NOT the guy who would choose to read a book about finance. But I do need financial advice, and probably for that very reason.

Already, I feel like I have improved as a person as well.

And, yes, it can be tedious at times, but what doesn’t, right? LIFE can be tedious, but we can’t just skip to the good parts, right? This isn’t an Adam Sandler movie, after all.

When life gives you lemons, don’t whine about how bitter the skin is. 

When life gives you lemons, squeeze them dry, and add some browned garlic butter, rosemary, rock salt and black pepper, and you have a simple but delicious sauce. 

Word of the Week #160:

Remunerative

I think I have spoken a lot about how excruciating editing can be, right?

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”
― Tiffany Madison

This is what I mentioned way back

Well, these are the problems that arise when you are editing your own work. Editing words that someone else wrote is an entirely different scenario.

It almost feels like walking into a field full of weeds, a machete in each hand, and just swinging with gay abandon!

Like, getting paid to find fault in someone else’s work. That’s the dream, right?

And if there aren’t too many faults? Why, that is just a walk through a field. Nobody minds that, right? Especially if you are getting paid for it.

So, remember: Writing as a passion is great. Much admirable. But as a profession, editing is far more fruitful.

Word of the Week #139:

Diversify

Seems odd when I think about it, but it has been nearly five years since I started writing.

I took some time tonight to go through the earliest draft of my first book. Oh, so far have I come.

Now, as one would except, my growth has been more than just vertical, and no, I am not talking about my tummy…

No, I am talking about the skills I have honed through the years. Skills like editing, proofreading. Skills that are valued on the market. With that in mind, I have now decided to put my extended skill set to use for whoever is willing to pay.

Yeah, The Writer Guy is now also an Editor. Didn’t see that coming, five years ago.

So if you need stuff done, let me know.

Word of the Week #95:

Increment

 

How long has it been since I started writing? Well, very close to four years, now.

A lot has changed in that span.

For one, I no longer have my weapon of choice, my magnificent MacBook Pro. Ah, the very thought rends my heart!

For another, my hair keep growing fewer and further apart, and are greying at an unprecedented rate… Which is obvious, yes, but upsetting none the less.

However, there are some things that have changed for the better, and I could not be more glad.

To begin with, I am now far better at what I do. Of course, this too is pretty obvious. You get better with experience and practice. Still, we do tend to forget how far we have come, and the way we cringe at a cursory glance towards our initial work is a reminder as clear as any.

More than anything else, I have now grown accustomed to my characters. I know exactly what they think and how they feel, regarding everything I throw at them. That makes it easy for me to enter their minds, and write about their adventures through their own eyes.

I am growing into a good writer, I suppose.

On the down side, that may be turning me into an exceptionally weird guy. But, I was a pretty weird guy to begin with.

Word of the Week #75:

Sophomore

So, as you’d probably know, last week brought some much needed joy and jolly into our lives.

However, that lasted for barely a moment, before another mountain, much taller and wider than the last, stood stark in my sight.

You see, just writing a book, especially a rough, vague preliminary draft is quite similar to taking a stroll.

Of course, this stroll is long and strenuous, like the one in “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Leo Tolstoy, and completing it without losing your mind is a feat definitely worth celebrating.

Have you read that story, by the way? You really should. It is amazing.

Now, this ain’t my first rodeo. I have been doing this for years already. I know how it works. I know that, in contrast, the path ahead is not as simple. It may be short, but it is far more uphill.

So, while it still is a time for joy, we know how much more work needs to be done.

It is time to strap on the snowshoes, baby, and just keep walking.

 

Word of the Week #69:

Tryst

So, this past week has hurtled by, as I have been forced to just sit and watch; not that I was particularly ill or anything of that sort, of course. When am I not ill, anyway…

Nah, I guess there are just some weeks like this one.

It is, however, disconcerting when we consider the fact that the end of the contract with my current publisher is no longer at the horizon—it is now very much in the forefront—and I have barely begun working on the editing and rewriting required to prepare the second edition of Book One.

I will admit, as have many readers already observed, that the first edition could have used a little more time and work than it was afforded. Well, I am wiser now.

To write is human, to edit is divine.
—Stephen King

Add to that the fact that the manuscript of Book Two is still not quite completely ready and one can very well begun to hyperventilate.

Quite honestly, this is one of those few instances where the word ‘deadline’ could literally be true.

But, as I keep proving to myself more than to anyone else, I am made of sterner stuff than that. Moreover, I have always found it easier to concentrate on a task when it begins to seem, to an uninitiated onlooker, overwhelming.

If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.
—Mario Andretti

So, now that the going has gotten tough, it is time for me to get going.

Au revoir.