Keeping the big picture in mind

I am currently doing a rewrite of one of my older books for children. I wrote this book several years ago but recently I needed to do a review and a rewrite.

This is part of the writing process I do not particularly enjoy. I like to write once and never go back to it again, ever! But it is something I must do. It is necessary, for now.

By the time I’m done, the book would be smaller, there would be fewer words, and I would have added a glossary, changed some pictures, and generally made enough changes to make it suitable for the readership I am targeting.

I know it would be exciting when I finally see the ” new old book” in the bookstores, I will be very happy to see the smile on a child’s face as they discover something new from this book I have written. 

But right now, I am not enjoying the process. I have sleepless nights and agonizing moments of wondering what to remove and what to keep as I hunch over my computer.

And as always, I am learning a lesson about real life.

Great outcomes are not always the result of enjoyable processes and procedures. No woman ever enjoys labour, or the whole process of being pregnant. The peasant farmer does not enjoy the grueling process of cutting and weeding and pruning. That something is not pleasant does not mean it is not good.

Buildings look ugly when under construction. When the process seems tiring and ugly think about the finish line and how the outcome would make you feel, change a life, alter a situation. Keeping the big picture in my mind makes it easier to go through the process.

What ugly or unpleasant process are you currently going through? 
Comment and let me know. May you find the strength to go through, and come out stronger and better!

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Do Editors need editors?

One of the questions that was asked during the W2I conference was, as a writer/editor do you need to give your work to another writer to edit for you?

Interesting question. Interesting stuff happens at trade shows!

Let me tell a little story to answer that question.
As a child I loved writing essays, and letters too. I loved anything that would require me to write for a long time, loved filling page after page with my not-so-beautiful handwriting. If it was for a test or an exam, I would shoot up my hand after a few minutes and say, “paper”, to the often annoyance of people less inclined to write long epistles. I could write five or six pages while my classmates were struggling to fill two sheets. And I always got high marks; but I wasn’t always top of the class in English language or essay writing. I was very often top, but not always and certainly not often enough for my liking. And I knew why.

I was bedeviled by a reluctance to read my work over. I would write and submit without going through it again to see if I had made a mistake, misspelt a word, or left out a vital point. And I would lose marks because of that. I knew the reason I was losing marks but I continued with my self-sabotaging practice.

Unfortunately when something becomes a habit it is difficult to break and that childhood habit followed me into my writing many years later. I would cring after posting an article because it was only then I would see how many errors there were in it. Yet, I was editing for others and making sure they had error-free documents!

Some of my earlier books have avoidable errors because I was reluctant to give out my work for proper editing. But I have learnt, and I have grown.

No document leaves my hand now until I have checked and cross-checked it several times, and no book of mine gets published until it has been properly edited by someone else.

There are several reasons why an editor needs an editor and soon we will talk about them in my newsletter.

So to answer that question, yes, an editor does need an editor!

Writing To Inspire 2018

Trade shows and the writing trade
Sometime in 2017, I had the privilege of participating in a webinar for a group of business people. It was a diverse group and the organizers somehow found a way to give general, yet relevant advice to everyone.
I do not remember all I learnt that day, (by the way, it is futile to think we can recall all we learn from seminars and workshops. That is why you must always take notes, refer to them often and try to apply as much as you can).
One of the things that stayed with me from that webinar is the importance of trade shows no matter your trade. The speaker said to us that trade shows have a way of inspiring and motivating the “trader” and he advised that we put aside some money every year for trade shows.
Earlier this year, I attended a trade show for my network marketing business and I’m still reaping the benefits of that trip.
This past weekend was another trade show of sorts for me. It was the Writing To Inspire conference 2018. 
It was very impactful just being in a roomful of writers, readers, booksellers, poets, songwriters, graphic artistes and so many others that make the writing industry possible.
I believe I came away a better writer. I made new friends, expanded my network, and strengthened my resolve to keep working at my craft till I “become.”
What trade are you in? What trade show are you planning for?
Comment and let’s see if we can help make your dream come true.