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Editing Life

I don’t like edits. There, I said it.

I’m the kind of person who does things once and wants to leave it at that. I don’t like having to go back and do things over, take a second or third pass at a project. I want to only put one coat of paint on a wall, file my taxes once, try on a single pair of pants.

Writing a novel is no different. I spend considerable time on the first draft for a reason. I want to get it right the first time. But as any writer knows, once isn’t enough. Twice isn’t enough. Three times? Nope. Not enough. Edits are part of writing. Changes need to be made, mistakes corrected, inconsistencies made right.

I’m delving into the edits for my next novel, Centralia, now. And how’s it going? Let’s just say . . . it’s going. And I’m kicking and screaming.

But no matter how much pain the edits cause, or how much discomfort they produce, I know the changes will be for the best and the book will be better because of them.

I’ll respect your intelligence and assume you see the parallels to life here. It’s a lesson I need to learn over and over again.

I’ve published eight novels now and every one of them is the same story. I dislike the editing. I kick and scream. The book is better in the end.

And sadly, it’s not much different with life.

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