The editing process

Editing is the most work when writing / publishing a book.† It’s tedious, cumbersome, review, edit, review, edit and many won’t finish†this phase of the writing process.† This post†shares some of my experience, perspective.†† I hope you find encouragement and it helps you finish what you started.

How long should I edit my work?

Here is the direct answer.††Reading the same text over and over you wrote becomes so mind numbing, the original excitement of writing the piece†is gone.† When I reach that point,†I know the article, book or whatever I’m writing is nearly complete and ready for another set of eyes.

How long does it take to get to this point, for me it’s usually months going over and over the manuscript.† I’ll work on the manuscript for a while, put it down and then review days, weeks later.† Each book has been a different story line, usually…I’ll experience whatever God inspired me to write, I document along the way and when the manuscript is complete, the editing process begins.† I will work on it until the resources to pay for an editor are made available.† I don’t put a timeline on how long I should edit.

  1. I write until it’s time for another person(s) to give their professional opinion.† Don’t rush this phase.† Make sure you have the feeling your work is done, the story is completely documented and organized to what you think.
  2. When you do turn over your work to another person, the editing phase can take weeks or a couple months.† In this timeframe, it can†help†refresh your batteries and ponder more on the story.† When you get it back, take a deep breath because like in English class, lots of red ink.

Since my books are self-published, there is no set timeline.† Having† loose time helps “get the work done”, but don’t rush to get something done and have it 1/2 baked.

Why do we edit our work?

Like this blog post, I won’t spend more than an hour or so writing down my thoughts and publish, it’s informal.† When writing books, it’s a MUCH longer process.† The first part is a journey, something in your life changes, it could be new and exciting,†a†tragedy or something else.† Whatever the story line,†documenting the story and making it enjoyable to read is a must.† If you are going to write, sell and share your story (heavy on the sell part), then having a professional editor(s) is a must.

For me personally, I hire two things:

1) artwork

2) editing

With the short attention span in†todays world, taking weeks or months to do something is out of the norm.† Before social media, there were deadlines to get a story published, writing was handled by professionals who were gifted in writing.† The mediums of which information was shared was limited.† Since the explosion†of the internet, twitter and other social media platforms.††Timeframes to publish information has GREATLY reduced.†† Book writing by it’s nature is a process, for me, it’s normally takes around 18 months for the entire scenario to happen.† This involves the “story behind the book”, the writing of the experience and editing, the 4th phase is selling / marketing (we will talk about later).

For something to take 18 – 24 months, a fair amount of time has passed.†† The attention span of the world can’t usually see past next week let alone two years from now.†† When telling a good story, it takes a few revisions before ready for others to read the story.†† It’s a courtesy to your reader to have something polished, and enjoyable to read.

One of the reasons you†document a story, write it down to share so others will have the same feeling or connection from your experiences.† If you have an unpolished story, incomplete topics or slap something together, you are doing an injustice to yourself and your reader.† Embrace different people willing to review your work, provide feedback to make it better.† When someone buys your work, you’ll appreciate having multiple people who have reviewed your book.

Who should do it?††

I’ve had the privilege of hiring English teachers, students, other professional editors to review and critique my work.†† Editing is not for the faint of heart, when you hand your manuscript over to someone else, you want that person to be as emotionally attached as you.†††In reality, they are passionate about having quality writing.† Your manuscript is something they are reading from an outsiders perspective.†† This is needed when you are sharing a story.

From my experience, it’s hard to see†corrections when they come back.† Whole sections of text†removed, many phrases are altered.† It’s hard to read at first.† They’ve taken your masterpiece and carved it up.† As much as I want to take it personal, I’m glad they have outside eyes, this is a term I use to describe someone who isn’t involved or know me personally or the story.

It’s†important to get someone else to read your work, preferably a professional rather than a friend, whoever it is, make sure they’ll give you an honest opinion.†† The individuals I’ve had review my manuscripts were†not family or close friends, I welcomed their†honest and direct opinions.† Ultimately, it’s your option to accept or reject their suggestions.†††The type of writing I do, when the Holy Spirit inspires a new poem, those generally don’t require too much editing (it is inspired after all), most of my text that get’s edited is when I describe the Story Behind the poem.

Conclusion

Not everyone is a writer, for those who choose or have chosen to be a writer, selecting an independent, passionate editor to review your work is critical.† The attitude a writer should have is the editors are an asset, they want your work to be the best it can be.† The more you write, the more you’ll appreciate this.† If you are on your first or second book, remember to embrace the editing process, it might seem like the movie “Ground Hog day”,†the same thing over and over. when you receive the email stating your work is published, it’s a†great feeling.

Keep Pondering,

Steve

Why do I write?

It’s a simple question, why do I write? †It helps me process thoughts and share vs. keeping things internal and I feel called, I can’t explain it. †I started writing technical blog articles on other internet domains I owned since†1999. †If you don’t believe me, go to Google, type Steve Schofield and IIS, there should be a few results. † I’m not here to puff my ego, it’s something that is in me to share experiences, words and my current†writing genre, Christian devotional poems. † I also share my technical experiences as well, I just enjoy sharing info.

The fancy way to explain my writing, it’s transference. †The ability to transfer experience, knowledge and application into words.

This post†is meant to share an insight, why do I write. †Any writer needs to be passionate about their chosen topic or genre. †There is no glory, there is no money for the amount of hours put into the work besides satisfaction, there are a few exceptions. †If you are getting into writing to make money, at least in my experience, it would be hard to stay motivated. †If you are truly passionate about your craft, when you have been writing, rewriting, not sure what the next topic will be, you’ll make it through the challenge. †I’ve written 1000’s of blogs, responded to 1000’s of discussion forum posts, one technical book and as of this article, self-published four books.

Each experience was unique, each one of them were special at the time. †I was challenged during the final phases after writing completed. †The editing, how to pay for the publishing, graphic development, I didn’t know how it would come about or paid for. †The other frustration, how do you measure success when self-publishing a book, there usually isn’t a marketing person available, you are meant to do it yourself.

Back to my original point, it’s about passion, it’s about wanting to share something important in your life. †There are millions of books, even more information on the internet. †As of this blog post, I still ask “why do I publish Christian devotionals?” † I don’t know who is affected, I don’t know who it influences. †I have faith one day it’ll be explained, until then I keep writing and keep sharing.

As you ponder writing a book a blog post or sharing a long comment on social media. †If you feel better sharing your information, I’m sure if it’s from the heart with good intentions, it’ll make a positive effect, stay writing!

Happy Writing

Steve

Authoring tidbits / tricks and misc thoughts

I’ve been in the middle of publishing my fourth book, 33 : About the Letter C.† The ebook version is available†on Amazon.† As I’ve went through this process, I want to capture thoughts, tips / tricks†I’ve learned through the writing /†publishing process.†† This is a starter blog / table of contents sorta to document what I want to share.†† As with other books, it was entirely Holy Spirit inspired.

Each book has taken give or take 15 – 18 months from initial idea to print to complete.†† As I do more, it becomes more refined.†† Here is a list in no particular order, a blog series†meant to share what I’ve learned, hope to help others and if Lord willing, I have to publish another book, it’ll be reference for the steps I did.

  • Why do I write?
  • The editing process
  • The publishing process (formatting what?)
  • What items in Word do you adjust?
  • Ebook or Print?
  • Tips / Tricks and Tools to format your ebook
  • Tips / Tricks and Tools to format your print book
  • Marketing or lack of ?

Have you thought about writing a book? What is stopping you?!.

Cheers!

Steve

And so it begins-next book….33 : About the Letter C

Here is the outline of poems for my next book called 33 : About the Letter C.† This book contains stories about peoples journey with Cancer and how Christ was involved in their battle.†The testimonies are VERY powerful along with 33 God inspired poems.† I’m looking forward to sharing this with many people in the upcoming weeks / months.† Stay tuned for more updates.

The Beginning

Poem 1-Command……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Poem 2-Cold Chill…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem 3-Convert………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Poem 4-Cloud……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem 5-Charity……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem 6-Chair………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†7-Change…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem 8-Constipation……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem aracter………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem 10 Courage………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem†11-Care……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem†12-Condition………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

A brief conversation

Poem†13-Covanent………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†14-Conflicted……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem†15-Culture…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†16-City………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†17-Challenge………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†18-Courageous …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem†19-Confused………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†20-Comfort………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem†21-Conceal…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†22-Chuck…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem†23-Chips……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†24-Curb…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Poem†25-Characterize…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Poem†26-Curse……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†27-Cure…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Poem†28-Connection……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†29-Celebrate………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem†30-Compass……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

His Ministry begins, changes the world forever

Poem†31-Chemo………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Poem†32-Caregiver………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poem 33-Christ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

It's about the Letter C

Here is the latest adventure the Lord seems to be leading me on.  It’s about the letter C, I’ve tried to come up with a “positive spiritual value” that starts with the letter C.   If you have one, feel free to pass it along.  There is 40 so far.

Change
Cross
Conviction
Contentment
Conversion
Consistency
Christ
Cash
Credit
Community
Communion
Children
Creativity
Contrite
Caring
Compassion
Clear
Charity
Challenge
Cry
Comfort
Captive
Conquer
Courage
Charish
Cultivate
Clean
Comfortable
Church
Command
Convey
Cleanse
Crown
Center
Come
Cushion
Calm
Crowd
Climb
Collaborative

First interview about 52 pickup and Remember the nails

I’m have some exciting news, can you pretty please people share this with others. I don’t normally ask this, not comfortable promoting stuff. I’m being interviewed (thanks to Shannon Jones Janeczek) about my first two Christian Devotional books (52 pickup and Remember the Nails). They asked to share with friends, family, what better than post on Facebook! I get to briefly share about these two God inspired books. My first formal interview ūüôā We’ll see how it goes. All credit goes north!

“Just confirming your interview with Dellani Oakes on her podcast show for Wednesday, July 24 at 3:00 PM EDT on Blog Talk Radio. Here is our show link for you to share. This will also take listeners to the podcast after the broadcast.”

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2013/07/24/rrw-whats-write-for-me

Praise God

Steve

One Reason update

Itís been a few weeks since I posted an update.  For starters, I was at a point when I left off I was discouraged about swimming.  I was going about 4 Ė 6 times a week working on technique.  Luckily, we took a vacation to Myrtle Beach for spring break.  It was the first family vacation we took in years.  It was a lot of fun, I remember thinking we were supposed to have an early spring, according to punxsutawney phil.  In years past, we wished for an early spring only to get cold weather and more snow.  The spring of 2013 has been another six weeks of winter.  Going to Myrtle Beach was relaxing to get away from Michigan.  It was a little chilly, but by Michigan standards it was warm (60ís Ė 70ís) during the day.  We rented a van instead of driving one of our vehicles or flying.  It took approximately 17 hours to get to our hotel.  The hotel was not what we expected.  The rooms were not kept and we didnít have a view of the water.   We called the place we booked the trip and told them.  They worked with us and helped find a different hotel, which was on the first floor and had an ocean view. It was more money, however it was worth every penny to have a positive experience on vacation. 

I remember thinking while on vacation, I needed a mental break from trying to swim.  I was trying so hard, yet things werenít coming together.  I still felt the race was two months out and I had time to learn.  The break was good and while on vacation, I ran on the beach.  My wife tried to run with me, we went about a 1/4 mile, she mentioned her chest was burning, I could just continue to run.  Let me preface, when I run, I run a bit, walk (fast) then run.  To continually run is something going more than a 1/4 or 1/2 mile to start is about my max length before needing to walk.  I thought at that moment, all the months of running, swimming and some biking might be paying off.  Compared to someone who wasnít running, I was a little ahead.  My no means was I ready for a marathon.  I did run two miles three separate times on the beach, it was relaxing.  We were Myrtle Beach for 5 days, 7 total which included driving.  It was relaxing being able to travel with my family. 

On our way back from Myrtle Beach, while driving home we faced wind at first and about 50 degrees, then as we drove into the Mountains, we had sleet, freezing rain, snow (about 3 inches), rain, then finally sun at the end of the first day.  What normally takes an hour on I-77 took three hours to navigate Virginia.  We got home the next day without any major events. 

I was home for three days, didnít exercise at all and went to Las Vegas for training.  I spent 5 days there, we walked ďthe stripĒ three days.  All and All, it was approximately 4 miles round trip.   A friend ran the strip the first day while running, stepped in some wet cement.  I told he left his mark in Vegas. 

After getting back from traveling for two weeks, it was time to get back in the pool, running and biking.  First thing, my wife and I bought updated bikes.  The local bike shop provides quality bikes and an honest service.   You could go to a store like Wal-mart and buy a bike that wonít last or you can get one with quality.  You get what you pay for. 

Itís been a few weeks since being back.  It took approximately until first week of May to warm up.  We had unusual amount of rain, the local river was at 104 year record highs.  The cold weather prevented those training to get into the water.  I continue to bike, run and swim.  The reality of the situation has set in.  Iíve been training for a few months and realized, my swimming technique isnít what I thought.  Back in January, I started with literally not enjoying the water to going frequently.  Iíve asked a couple swim instructors to help out.  They have given me some drills to do. Iím not sure they are helping me with swimming as much as I ran the other day, I felt stronger and had fast 5k time yet.  I had around a 10 minute first mile.  Overall it was around 35 to 36 minutes.  My first 5k I ran 36:41 ( 11:51 pace ).   The next day I went on a 11 mile bike ride, again I felt stronger.  I had the fastest 10K time (according to the Nike+ watch I had).  The real story though I need to report I was so disappointed with myself after swimming, I took the next day off.  I prayed pretty hard to God for guidance, my faith isnít shaken, but makes me wonder.  On my way to swim after taking a day off, the song on the radio mentioned ďYou canít do this aloneĒ and ďWhen the river runs deep, When the river is wide, something something Iíll dive in anywayĒ.  Iíll try to find the exact song.  Later in the day, a friend posted he ran and biked.  I mentioned he could do a 1/4 mile swim and be done.  He mentioned about wanting to, but was scared and if he messed up, he would drown. Smile  This rattled my shaky confidence.  When I turned on the radio, the DJ on smile.fm mentioned ďWho do you trust?Ē  He mentioned Proverbs 3:5-7 (I think), basically it was trust in his plan and not try to plan everything.  Iíve been thinking for days how can I prepare, plan to be safe through the swimming portion.  I donít swim in lakes let alone somewhere I canít touch the bottom.  That is what scares me the most, I canít swim the full 1/4 mile in a pool without stopping let alone trying in open water that is 20 degrees cooler.  If you canít tell, Iím really worried Sad smile   There is one saying that keeps coming back to me, I canít let my fear miss this opportunity to glorify God and allow him the chance to work through me.  Lean not on my own understanding, which the enemy has seemed to sense.  My moods and concentration on other things have been a struggle.  God bless my family for putting up with my mood swings.    As I type this, Iím ready for the training to be over and the day just to get here.  I donít know if Iíll actually swim the whole thing, Iím going to do my best and have a clear conscience.  In the meantime, Iíll keep training and praying!

PS Ė We started up a small group bible discussion and started in Romans 12.  Weíve covered 1,2, and reading there.  1 covers basically be a living sacrifice.  2.  do not confirm to this world  3. Donít think more highly of yourself than you should.  Although Iím doing my best in training frequently, I keep these verses in mind along with their meanings + trying to live them out.  So far, 1 and 3 fit quite well.  Keep training!

Stay tuned,

Steve