Self Editing: What It Is and Is NOT

Julie L.

After another amazing InD’Scribe conference, there is always an amazing amount of information, knowledge, and connections to sift through. It’s a three-day long bombardment of ideas, learning, thoughts, and finding new friendships mixed in with fun, being goofy with old friends, and fabulous parties. As one of the presenters for the conference, I can tell you that we who stand in front of you, looking all cool and collected (we aren’t) often learn just as much as the attendees at our workshops by the questions and comments you ask, as well as when we attend others’ workshops. No author, reader, or realistically no human, should stop learning. And at our core, discovering or telling new stories forces us to learn something new eacc time because almost none of us write exclusively about what we already know and only about locations we’ve been to or lived in. Authors may know the “craft” but there is always more to learn.
Often learning is painful, and comes from the experience of “What NOT To Do Ever Again.” During the conference, we heard all kinds of amazing stories of perseverance through unbelievable trials, over-coming mind blowing afflictions, and just plain old stubbornness of not letting an inanimate object get the better of us. But there were also many moments of lamentation by many other authors of trying to be, do, or write something they are not. And that made me cringe a bit.
You see, self-editing is kind of a new concept, and unless you’ve heard me teach it, read this column, or talked to me IRL, it does sound like I’m advocating tossing your editor (Don’t!)—but until this conference, it never dawned on me that someone might take what I’m talking about and try to change everything they are to fit into a “box,” (something I do NOT advocate - ever!) Some of the questions, conversations and comments made me want to double down on the “No. No! NO!! That is NOT what I mean!”
Other things I heard dovetailed perfectly into the concept of editing I’ve been talking about. However, it also made me wonder if I’ve explained my unique concept of what editing entails.

Read the entire article in the November 2018 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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