I have a love/hate relationship with self-editing. When I am nearing the end of a writing session (I never edit while I write) I can’t wait to edit. I am excited to take that mold of text-clay and shape it into something I can be proud of. When I am through the third revision, hate is the prevailing emotion. To make editing bearable, interesting, and effective, I have these four techniques I use every time. Techniques that can apply to all forms of writing. 1. Let it Ferment Before Editing
Many writers ask me whether they should have a website, as well as writing on other platforms. My answer is always the same, yes it is essential. Websites are notorious as needing a lot of time and work before you monetise them. Not everything we do as writers should bring in instant income. Sometimes you have to play the long game. Put the foundations down now, for work further on. When I started my website, I could have used google ad's to make a small amount of money. I didn't, the followers I had would have made me 1p a month, what was the point. Now I have a substantial following, I have still not monetised my website. I want my readers to have a pleasant experience when they visit. I don't want the bombarded with adverts. This is not to say you can't make money from your website, because you can. Putting the finances aside though, a website is essential to have as a portfolio of your work. A place where prospective employers can come and see your work. A place to show a sample of your writing. Once you have established your website you can then use it to advertise your services.
I have heard many people say this is the worse year they have had. For some this might be true, for the others not. I have had far worse years than this one. The year my best-friend died was very bad. It was also the year my niece was born, so not the worse year. There have been down days and times, but generally, 2020 has been kind to me. I have completed my manuscript. Watched my baby blossom into a cheeky six-month-old. I have also had quality time with my two-year-old. My daughter is on the spectrum and the world has been a scary place for her, until now. I have watched her grown up and develop at lightning speed. How can 2020 be a bad year? There have been bad times. Times of boredom, worries over money, and the constant ache of not seeing my mum. My glass, however, is always half full. I’m not seeing my mum, but at least she is fit and healthy. With everything in life, it is your mindset that controls your experience.
“Stay here, Finola,” Padraigh directed. Giving me orders again. I was fed up with him. “Wait til I tell you.” But I kept silent and stayed in the cave, shivering with cold. I admit, the man usually had the best intentions. He wanted to protect me. And he’d warned me slave-catchers from Rahesh were eager to sell me to the auctioneers. As if I didn’t know that already. But if the riders I’d seen were slave-catchers, I was sure they were gone now. And what did he think he could do with just a knife and gladius against armed horsemen? I argued that my song-weaving magic was more than a match for any Raheshi slave-catcher, but Padraigh insisted it was a man’s duty to protect a woman, any woman. So I swallowed my objections and waited for his signal....
I spoke Monday about a killer idea entering my head this weekend. This is the time when planning wasn't necessary. I didn't stop to plan anything I wrote for my life. This is okay. It is okay to go rogue sometimes. To ignore all the writing advice and do it your way. There is a song somewhere there. I'm going to admit something shocking now. I hardly ever plan my articles. I have an idea and I write it. Although I always have a working title, it changes as the article grows. There are many occasions that the post changes considerably since the first inception.
My intended post to share today was a short story. I haven't written short fiction for many months. I missed it, so penned a short story last week. I had the feeling when I finished that the story, it could be so much more than 2000 words. When I came to editing it, this weekend, my partner read it over my shoulder. She echoed my feelings, it was bigger than a short story. It is now an idea taking hold for my third novel. This time a dystopian. My advice to all writers is to write what you read. My two favourite genres are crime and dystopian. My second book is a crime thriller, it seems poetic that my third will be dystopian. How to ride the wave.