Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dandelions



First Monday of June already! Can you believe it? Half way through Insecure posts for the year, wow! Hop over to Alex J Cavanaugh's blog to join in or just make yourself feel more connected by reading other writers' insecurities. Believe me, you're not alone! We're all riddled with doubt and frustration and confusion at some point or another :)


Editing--the never ending war between me and my writing. Ever feel like as soon as you fix one problem in your manuscript, another one springs up? It's as if battling dandelions. I swear, if I highlighted all the things I've worked on in my ms with a yellow highlighter, laid out the papers around my yard, it would look just like this ==>



As I go through my WiP, I come across something sounding a little too cliche, so I swap it out for a new description using the word my. Uh oh, I know I already have too many my's. Now I need to take some of those out. Switching a few around, I decide to start the my sentence with I and notice I started with an I two paragraphs down. Oh no! Okay, what can I start this sentence with that isn't my or I? I know, let's start it with and action, like walking. Crap! The next sentence starts with standing! I can't use another ing here!







Maybe if I had a ginormous bottle of this stuff, all those darned dandelions would stop popping up! Do they make something like this for writers?




I know this is one of those building moments, where working through the error of my ways is actually making my writing stronger because I know the next time I sit down to write a new story, I won't have these same errors to fix. I know I will have learned from my tedious mistakes and grown as a writer. Hopefully without the dandelions.

There is one good thing about these lovely weeds that turn your hands yellow, attract slugs, and put big divots in your lawn when trying to defeat them. They turn into wishes. So go ahead, blow...


and make a wish :)


24 comments:

  1. Oh, Hope this is SO how I feel lately! I have eradicated over 1000 instances of "was" in my MS. What is that all about?! Then I had to tackle the "ing" words - which apparently, I use way too much, and then there were the "justs" and the "thats". In the end, I had to take a deep breath, cut what was necessary and leave the rest because I don't think it is possible to make every chapter absolutely perfect.

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  2. LOVE your analogy. While I love to edit, I cringe when I find something too cliche or overuse a certain word. Fixing those things makes us stronger and helps us when we beta, too! :D
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!

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  3. What a nice post! And I know what you mean ... that's how I feel when editing lol well, you know since you read half my ms ;)
    As for the wish ... I guess I know what all of us, writers, would wish for ;)

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  4. Hah hah hah, I LOVE this!!!! It is so very true. Man, I've been there so very many times and it pops right up every time I'm working on something. Like the WIP. It's so annoying. What a great analogy. But yes, I think working through it makes us better writers!

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  5. That is so the truth.

    My daughter loves dandelions and was jealous that our neighbors yard had a few. She didn't quite get the concept of weed.

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  6. I love, love, love this analogy. Brilliant. I completely understand where you're coming from. Well, I'll make a wish every time I find myself in this predicament. And you probably know what it will be... To get published.

    Great post!

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  7. Hahahaha, I could've written this post. I've been living in the land of the endless "final" edits. I would consider killing for some writer's weed-b-gone.

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  8. Your inner editor is a dream, Hope. I don't notice most of those things till I do my wordle or something. :)

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  9. I'm with Cassie. My inner editor is blind. LOL. ;0)

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  10. Hope, you're brilliant. I looooved this. Thanks so much for sharing.

    And P.S. I got Shatter Me in the mail today! THANK YOU SO MUCH! :D

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  11. Haha, your writing process sounds just like mine! I have those exact same issues. Darn repetition and -ing words. Sigh.

    Still, way to make wishes out of weeds (such a better phrase than lemonade out of lemons).

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  12. I'm considering participating in insecure writers group.
    I love what you've written. Though I'm a super-novice I've done a little editing and encountered all you describe. What a chore editing can be. I think it's what discourages me most about writing. But, writers must have perseverance and keep weeding the dandelions that at first seemed to support all the real flowers.

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  13. We all have weaknesses and stresses as writers. The difference is in never giving up. Great post Hope!!

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  14. I'd like a bottle too! I'm always checking and rechecking a sentence because it has a my and a that and a ing.

    We just have to keep killing those dandelions. :)

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  15. I love this post! You left me on a happy note - making wishes is always uplifting :)

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  16. I would never have thought about using Dandelions to explain edits... but that totally works and I agree with Lara... finishing up a post with a wish is awesome :)

    (What's funny is I have a guest post this friday at David King's blog and I'm using an Irish joke to explain edits :)

    PS... thanks :)

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  17. What a great post Hope!!! I wanna wish!! :)

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  18. Pick up a novel, you'll be surprised how many lines start with I. You don't notice because it's one of those devices that becomes invisible. Edit time can certainly be insecurity time, but you'll end up with a great product :) Happy wishing.

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  19. I'm in the midst of revisions and completely relate to this!

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  20. I love this post. Thanks for reminding me I'm not the only writer ankle-deep in dandelions.

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  21. Beautiful post, Hope. I have so many wish I want to make, like being a better editor and having near-perfect first drafts.

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  22. "We're all riddled with doubt and frustration and confusion at some point or another" Ughh, so true! I love to see/hear other writers talk about it because when I go through it personally (and naturally) I feel like I'm the only one. Nice to know I'm not alone :) And great analogy! Editing can feel like weeding out those pesky dandelions.

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  23. Yep, this happens to me too. In rough drafts I tend to be quite aware of the 'starting a paragraph in the same way' problem...but all other problems I generally don't think about until revision time. Unless they're a certain problem I've been thinking about a lot in recent times, and so they're in the forefront of my mind.

    I wish we had dandelions as weeds here, instead of the boring weeds we have ;)

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