We are accustomed to experiencing the editing process as a brutal, left-brain activity too often filled with violent and abusive language: It’s about forcing the book to our will, gagging, restraining or reining in our characters, hacking away at our work or hammering our manuscript into shape. Yet when we treat our drafts with such disdain and disrespect, we are also demeaning and disrespecting ourselves as their author.
Instead of this harsh, aggressive approach, see the editing process as one of revision, of revisiting your original vision for your book and putting all your heart, art and skill into aligning what’s on paper with that vision.
As you move through draft after draft, see yourself as a jeweler, delicately etching your rough stone into the gem that reflects the vision your heart has conceived and received, then lovingly polishing it until you achieve the look and texture that you know it desires from you.
Your vision is the light force of your work, the life force of your work. It is the spirit that is its essence, the breath that keeps it alive. Your vision is your dream for your work, the expression of your intention. It is what guides it, drives it and propels it — from conception to completion and beyond. The more fully you are able to stay connected to that vision, however broadly or specifically you have drawn it, the more completely your finished book will remain true to that life force, that dream, that intention. And the truer you will be to the book that has called upon you to commit it to paper and breathe life into it.
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