That wonderful red pen…
Do you like it? Do you like to pick up that small, insignificant red biro and start scratching and crossing and scribbling over words? Those words were half-decent when you put them there. Let’s just say it—they were pure genius. And now…the red pen. Gone? Forever? Without even a proper funeral?
It’s a sad, heart-wrenching thing, editing.
A lot of people don’t do it. It shows.
And those of us who do edit? (Okay, granted, I am streaming my consciousness, which means I can’t edit this post, but I’m thinking along the lines of articles, books, ideas, novels…) We could be called tough. We could be called callous. We could be called amazing in our integrity to know how and what to edit. Or we could eat a lot of chocolate.
It does take courage, and a bit of skill, to cross over those words, or even whole chapters, and redo them. You almost have to stand back and let your snarky, cynical side take the pen for a while. You actually wrote it like that? Can’t believe it…just can’t believe it. You almost have to grit your teeth and protect your soft skin and delicate pride and just let that little red pen go. Because, deep down inside, you know the truth.