‘All good writing is rewriting’ is an old chestnut that you’ll read a lot, when you read about writing. Because it’s utterly right. Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird) talks of the ‘shitty first draft’. James Thurber said: ‘That draft isn’t any good; it isn’t supposed to be; the whole purpose is to sketch out proportions… I rarely have a very clear idea of where I’m going when I start. Just people and a situation. Then I fool around — writing and rewriting until the stuff gels.”
What sets us apart from a lot of other writing workshops at Editing in Paradise is that we love editing. We are mad about it. We’re silly syntax spies (in both senses of ‘silly’). We love editing ourselves, each other … the TV, radio, press. Sure, we slash florid, flowery, elaborate, gaudy, gilded and excessive tautologies that say things the same way twice. [Clearly failed to self-edit, here!]
But it’s all because we love words and language. (We have puns at the ready.) And, more than that, what matters to us is the joy of collaborating with writers to find just the right word or phrase or scene of line of dialogue for any piece they’re writing.
Learning to work with feedback and accept or argue the toss is part of your solemn duty as a passionate writer. Often in that process, what emerges is the magic of the newly imagined … the next glimmer of wisdom that might be a change of tense or a change of point of view; or a new place to begin, or end.
Feedback, constructive critiquing (of self and others) and the techniques of self editing will be part of the writing toolkit you get at Editing in Paradise. And, it will set you apart from most writers.
One of our favourite quotes about the true approach that carves out a writer is from Thomas Mann, who said: “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” — Thomas Mann
When you learn to do your own editing with ease and confidence … you’ll write with far more ease and confidence. They are opposite sides of the same coin … and for many of our participants, that coin is a published manuscript.
Then, when you have your manuscript in the best shape it can be, having bent it, urged it, snapped it but not broken it… then an external editor’s counsel can be of real help.
With our support, too, there is information about what next steps to take to publishing your work.