Manuscripts, Editing, and the Chaos of Writing…

Last week was an absolute blur. It was crazy. My middle child, a junior in high school, was approaching taking her SAT for the first time.

Two semester term papers, each between 12 and 15 pages lay in wait to be edited. As a writer I had to assist in my child in this process. Whatever are mothers for?

I have no idea how parents who hate writing or have no interest in doing it manage to help their children with writing projects.

In the middle of helping with the editing, my 5th grader kindly reminds me, not that I had forgotten–how could I forget, I have so little on my mind–that we need to start on their science project.

Needless to say my writing last week took a back seat to the needs of my children. I also stopped to help our eldest, who is a graduate student, order clothes for their summer internship, you know those bland black and gray suits that reveal or hide any level of creativity.

And still I accomplished a fair amount. In between all the chaos, I made last changes suggest by my editor to my manuscript, The House–ones no less important than those inserted in earlier drafts, but a fair more tedious since every thread of the narrative line has its place.

The process became hairy during moments. At point I actually considered laying aside the manuscript, taking care of the work with my children and then returning to the manuscript later in the month.

My eldest leaves for their internship in Europe on May 24.  School for the two younger siblings ends just before and then right after Memorial Day.

Yet in between clarifying the central issue of her questions and requested changes and then crafting those changes I gained hope.

This encouragement rose from the mystery that occurs when you go from having no idea of how to manage or alter a sentence or paragraph to address the black hole that caused the editor to question the writing to writing something that is better than you ever imagined or that you could create.

In so doing you see where the confusion lay and feel terribly grateful that your editor’s keen eye noticed the snag or opening that just might snag a reader too.

With the changes made and inserted, my editor has now passed the manuscript onto the copy editor. I should have this final draft in a few days.

At least the clothes my eldest ordered for her internship are on the way.

I certainly hope so.

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~ by Anjuelle Floyd on May 10, 2010.

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