Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Inner Demon Called Editor

So, I was reading one of my new favorite books in eBook format and it suddenly occurred to me why I prefer paperback versions of books.

I have an inner demon. It's almost a condition. I edit. I can't stop myself, especially when I am reading on a screen, where I have personally done most of my own writing for the past 10 years, at least. I've always had an inner editor. Writers need to have one, but mine seems to be slightly more pronounced. I am sure other writers have the inner editor that rears its head when we just want to stop and enjoy a book as a reader. I can't be the only one.

My inner editor comes out for print books too, sometimes more fiercely. If there's a mistake in a print copy of a book, it feels even more appalling. I have been accustomed to reading books, novels, stories, etc. as drafts if I am reading them on a screen, because drafts are all I have been doing for a long time. So, if I see a glaring error in a *print* book, it's terrible. However, in print form, I feel like I can move on. Once it's in print, there's nothing that I can do about it.

For eBooks, however, the dreaded digital screen is glaring the words and the mistakes at me, and I keep trying to tap my backspace key, or the screen of my iPad to correct the mistake. It's like a compulsion.

It's time to redirect my inner demon, ahem, I mean editor, into editing my *own* stuff.  I am good at editing. I have to brag a little about that. I know my editor is overzealous. I've even considered offering my services as editor. Authors need them. I am surprised how much slips by. I think authors need about 3 to 4 editors. Even inner demons...editors get overwhelmed.

If it is a good story, then technical things are easy to miss as readers get lost in the story. Editors are readers too, and a lot of them are writers. Sometimes we just want to read, but shutting down that inner demon can be really challenging. It's my goal to have only pristine works published, but I am sure that I will have a few "blips" in there that will make a reader/writer's inner editor cringe.

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