Gene Fowler said: “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” That is how I feel about editing. I hate it. I hate staring at a set of words I once wrote with passion and verve, only to be forced to correct them. I always thought of myself more of a poet than a writer, and more of a fiction writer than a nonfiction writer. And of all the nonfiction genres I was sure I’d never write, travel guides were on the top of that list. Why? Details my friend, details. I hate them. A German phone number here and an Italian address there creates insanity in my brain. I am dyslexic and it is not a secret that I like to share. It is embarrassing and I hate it when people use dyslexia as an excuse for making stupid mistakes like, “Oh sorry I did not give you enough cash, I’m dyslexic.”
The best way to describe what editing is like for a dyslexic is to take a bunch of letters and numbers and put them in a bathtub and let them float around. It is very easy to put words down on paper – much like putting ducks into warm bath water. It is systematic organizing of them that takes so much work. Letters spin in our heads, words wrap around sheets of paper, and sentences turn into images instead of cohesive thoughts.
My manuscript is back from Penguin and I have 2 weeks to go through and edit it. Did you know that big publishing houses still edit on paper, not on electronic word documents? I think it’s a big waste of time, to FedEx manuscripts back and forth, but that is the way it is.
FLY SOLO is pre selling on amazon.com. It is a fabulous feeling seeing my name there. To me, it’s like seeing my name in lights on Broadway. I did it! I got an agent, I got a publisher, I wrote a book, and now it’s pre selling on the world’s largest book reseller – cool! But before any of that can happen, I have to finish editing it. Ick.