Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fresh Eyes In Less Time

First and foremost we must write, giving ourselves permission to flush the story out without revisions, add-ons, and lets not forget the occasional cringe as we notice a horribly structured sentence or paragraph. My motto is: write and then put it aside, boys, put it aside. Do something totally different.

Usually I'll start cramming new words into my head, learning origins and times in history when that word or words were the catch-me-all of the day. That in itself is a great exercise to gain clarity and it can also stir a maelstrom of ideas for when you do return to editing. Or work on another project. Of course, you could always grab a bowl of ice cream with gooey, chocolate sauce pooling at the bottom of the bowl. (Not like I've ever done that or anything.)

I find if I try and edit immediately, I'm indecisive, get less accomplished, and take up a chunk of valuable time. With four kids, proper use of time is paramount.

The main component of editing is fresh eyes. In order to gain those eyes, I know I have to look the other way and focus on something else. It's kind of like when the dusting needs to be done, but the kids are scurrying all over the house just stirring the dust anyway. So I  wait until the dust settles (and the kiddos are elsewhere), and make my move. My work is more precise and takes a lot less time.

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