This week I reached another one of my “come to Jesus” or “shut up and suck it up” moments. It was a moment of discovery and a lesson in humility. It was hard to swallow, a gag-reflex, if you will. Not to be confused with the standard lesbian affliction. But that’s another subject.
Today I speak to “an author’s first edit”. Yes, that sobering moment when the editor of your very first soon-to-be-published work tells you that you actually made some grammatical and punctuation errors.
What the Fuck?
You mean I’m not perfect? Oh my gosh, was I ever embarrassed. I had heard of this first, most clarifying and peel back my skin and suck out my heart revealing moment, but hadn’t realized the impact it would have on the pristine image I held of myself.
I was taken aback.
I was jolted into reality.
Had stupidity always been my middle name or had I only recently acquired this distinction when I decided to be a serious writer?
All those thoughts of self-doubt and fantasies of fingers around editor’s throat realization that I wasn’t being “all that” after all….well they flooded my brain and what was left of the few brain cells I possessed just disintegrated into a virtual Grammar 101 abyss.
Whew. It just about did me in.
But here’s the thing.
Once the waters parted, and the dark clouds circling my head dissipated, I actually heard my editor. I didn’t just listen. I heard what she was saying.
Even a gifted golden goddess of gab, goofiness and the written word, such as myself, needs a little direction now and then. Being the stubborn, control freak that I am, this was a real breakthrough for me.
And my editor’s still alive. That’s a plus.
So bring it, Karla. Give it to me straight (another really tough direction for me). Let me have it.
Because I know you love me and you want my Stuff to Shine.
Now I’m going to do some research on “modifiers”. Apparently I mixed some up or misplaced some or some kinda shit. I have forgotten way more than I remember about grammar. Thank gosh for my editor!
My advice? And you know you want some, don’t you? My advice is to listen to your editor. She’s got skills, people, and you can reap the benefits of her knowledge. So shut up and take it like a woman.
Now go out there and have yourself a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!
And while you’re at it, take a minute to remember and reflect on those Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors who have served and are still serving you and our great country. And if you are or have been one of those military personnel? Thank you for your Service!
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