How to put this? The writer in me says I should just start typing, so I do. The editor in me wants to
censor cut alter edit.
I’ve been writing for a long time, and I’ve been my own editor for just as long: Term papers, essays, short fiction, letters, poems, newspaper and magazine articles, corporate newsletters, press releases, blog entries and now novels. I stopped counting years ago, at a million words. I’ve also edited the works of others. I’m not “proud” of it. It’s just what I do. (It’s similar, but not the same, as the color of my skin: what did I have to do with it?)
So when a fellow writer announces a manuscript evaluation contest, as Laura M. Talley does on her site, I hesitate.
Yes, I know the value that someone else can bring to my writing. Other perspectives and all that. But my novel isn’t finished, and I wonder: Will someone else’s perspective be a help or a hindrance?
What if she likes it? Will that change my own view of the unfinished work? Will I become satisfied with sections that I know need more work?
What if she doesn’t like it? (My authorial ego says “fat chance” but that’s a boatload of carp.) Will that discourage me, or cause me to work harder? Will I respond by re-analyzing parts of the story that were long ago put to bed?
But forget all that. The fact that I’m writing this blog post means I’ve already decided. I’m in. So, Ms. Talley, this post is worth two extra entries, right?