Editing is not for the weak

“Writing is one of those talents that don’t get easier with practice. Every time I sit down to write I feel as though I have to poke around to find a new vein to slice in order to get the words to come. The most that a writer can hope for is to be surrounded by people who love her and care enough about her to stand by with gauze and help bind her wounds when she has bled enough.” (Renita J. Weems in Listening for God.)

Rewrites and editing are not for the meek at heart. Thinking in metaphor, I’m finding myself with a new appreciation for high divers. The perfect jump happens a few steps back, where the ladder and the diving platform meet.

Commitment to keep climbing, keep going, and focus on the task at hand.
The initial endorphins that kick off your writing are not unlike that initial rush of energy you get when stepping foot onto a ladder, climbing past the low dive (for amateurs), and climbing, climbing, climbing, higher and higher above ground. The hard part, the part that is mastered by champions, is those last few steps, and that moment when you hoist yourself up onto the platform and steady yourself and your mind. The success of the dive, or in the writing, happens there. It is the place where so many freak out and climb back down the ladder, refusing to descend into the craziest thing: jumping off the edge. Others press their nerves and haphazardly run and jump, belly-flopping and making a spectacle of themselves. (Have you ever read a poorly edited book?)

Publishing is when you jump off the board. At that point you’ve done all you can, and you pray that your preparation and set up were on track, and that you can just stay with it, not fighting the momentum, but leaning into it.

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