There comes this moment…

When the book is written and all the words are there on the digital pages and they’re all glaring at you and you can’t help but think “What the hell did I ever do to you?”

Writing a book is pretty much like anything else; it’s a process.  The more you do the process the better you get at it – theoretically at least.  I always like to tell the kid’s Kenpo class “You’ll perform in a fight exactly like you practice.”  And that right there is the rub.  Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.  It’s a honing process.

I was never taught how to write a book.  My high school English teacher hated me.  My college English teacher didn’t even bother to hide her disdain.  My junior high English teacher was actually pretty good.  It was her tutelage that I lean on when I write and it’s her words that I’m trying to hone.  When I look back on learning about writing it’s her I look back on.  Sadly, I don’t even remember her name.  If, however, she ever stumbles across this post and remembers me out of the thousands of students she had, I’d just like to say, “Thank you.”

She taught me enough that I can string a few words together into something approaching a coherent sentence and with that foundation I’ve written a couple books that at least a few people thought were enjoyable.  That’s a really big deal to me and it makes me extremely happy to know that I might have made the world a slightly better place.  Albeit by writing about mysterious gods and oodles of killing.

It’s the little things in life that matter the most.

So, here I am.  The Clock Man is written.  All the words are there, but they’re still glaring at me because some of them are out of order, some of them aren’t the right words, and some of them are just generally in a pissy mood.  Words are like that; they’re easily perturbed.

Now comes the editing part.  I have a dysfunctional relationship with editing.  On the one hand it’s a chance to read back through and realize it’s not quite as bad as I thought it was when I was writing it.  On the other; there are those moments where I stop, scratch my head, and wonder just what the hell I was thinking when I wrote something.  Thank God for friends.  I passed The Clock Man off to a fellow writer and she came back with some excellent points.

Now all I’ve got to do is implement those points.

So, there comes this moment when all the words are there and they just need to be shuffled around.  The book is done, but it’s not done done.  Done done happens when all the words are there, they’re in the right order, and neatly formatted.  Then the book will be done done.  Right now, I’m only done.  I’m looking forward to being done done.  Once I’m done done, I can start writing again.  I miss writing but editing is still an important part of the process.  Someday there will come this moment when it will be done done.

And then the whole process will start all over again. 🙂

6 thoughts on “There comes this moment…

  1. A great post Eric, and one I can totally sympathise with right now. I’m presently working through my 10th edit of ‘Beyond The Law: Reribution’, which being a sequel (my first), I’m working so hard to get it right. Within the next two weeks it will be done, done. 🙂
    You did a great job of Henchmen and Arise and I know I’m not the only one looking forward to The Clock Man. Take your time and enjoy every minute of the process.

    • Thank you, sir! I’m enjoying it, but also getting ready for it to be done. That’s the dangerous time, the point where you just want to say “screw it” and hit publish before it’s ready. I did that with Henchmen and have spent the past couple years making changes.

  2. So true. I’m about to start right at the beginning again – I’m excited!
    Regarding teachers, I adored my junior school and high school English teachers, who were great inspiration to me, until my favourite teacher left two years before my final exams and my new teacher thought I should be taken down a peg or two… She greatly affected my confidence and my exam results. But we come back better and stronger. Unfortunately my youngest just reaching her exam years has the same problem, and it makes me so mad that a teacher can wield an uninspiring flame…

    • I had some good teachers but I also had some real stinkers. Unfortunately, for the most part, it’s the bad ones I remember. The woman who taught my rhetoric and lit class in High School was atrocious, loved the popular kids but hated the rest of us. It was seriously like being taught by a really old high school student. I passed by the skin of my teeth and, I think, only because she didn’t want to deal with me the next year. College was the same way. Oh, well. I’m still here and they taught me how to deal with mean-spirited criticism.

  3. Here’s to your done done moment. In the meantime, I hear cheesecake helps get you through the herding of words. Looking forward to the done done, edited, ready to download to my Kindle moment.

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