Saturday, September 15, 2007

I’ll do it Later, I Promise

By Keith Fisher

I don’t know how you do it, but my writing largely consists of what many call free writing. I sit down and start typing sentences, knowing where I want the story to go. It’s tremendously gratifying when I get into the zone and ideas flow faster than words. Lest you think it’s like that everyday I should mention, I have days when I know where I want the story to go, but I have no idea how to get it there. When it happens I usually put the story aside and work on one of my other projects.

It’s because of all those projects, and the need to edit them, that I resisted the BIAM (Book in a month) challenge issued by Nichole Giles from this group, and by Tristi Pinkston. I felt I needed to finish editing.

With the myriad ideas for other projects and three books that need to be finished, the call of the zone was haunting me. Editing is the most important job we can do as a writer. Good editing can make or break a book, but it’s drudgery. I’ve never been in the zone while editing, and as I said, the promise of flowing words was sitting there, alone on the shelf . . . Well, I couldn’t just leave it there, now could I?

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. I escaped to the joy of the open range of writing. I put my edits aside, and began to climb the mountain.

I remember when, as a kid, I put my chores aside in favor of going camping, riding horses or playing make believe. "I promise, Mom, I’ll get it done later," I said.

In like manner, I promise I’ll get the edits done too . . . later. I’m going mountain climbing with my friends. I’m a little late getting started and I haven’t set my goals yet, but I’ll keep you informed if you’re interested.


Tristi Pinkston said...

Keith, I'm glad you joined us on our mountain! Editing's important but sometimes you've got to get out there and get some fresh air.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

Yes, fresh air is sooo important, but so is finishing what you've begun. If you don't get the editing finished, you'll never submit. Maybe it would help to think of editing as one step closer to publication?
For me, I enjoy the editing stage. The initial "cranking out the story" is the hardest part for me, but the editing? That's when I get to make it all come together, when I can strengthen my themes, when I can put the perfect, finishing touch on the sunset of my word picture. Editing my story is the best part.