KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Reporting in From the Writing Trenches

I've been very quiet here lately, so I thought I should report in.

My workload has been heavy. And right now, I'm writing updates to the second edition of a college's how-to-be-a-successful-student-and-grown-up textbook, for which I will be given coauthor status.

I am so amazed—I can do this book-writing stuff! But writing is requiring so much more brain power than editing does for me, most likely because I haven't been doing it on a daily basis in decades. (The last time I wrote for pay was as a journalist in the early 1980s.) I get a reprieve from the intensity of writing today because today is an edit-the-Indian-gentleman's-giant-cultural-history-and-genealogy-manuscript day, but I might sneak in a little writing anyway just because it keeps astounding me that I can still write, and I want to check to see if that ability has suddenly disappeared. I'm wiped out at the end of a day spent writing because of (1) the brain-power usage issue, (2) the exhilaration of being able to write, (3) fear that I will blow the deadline, and (4) worry that I'm missing important things at home because I've been concentrating so intensely on what's on my screen. You know: "Oldest child—any new grandkids from you? You other two kids—either of you grow up while my brain was away?"

Remember that feeling, way back in your student days, right after a final exam? That feeling that you'd just dumped all of your intelligence into the test and temporarily had none left? That's how I feel at the end of a day of writing. I suppose that if I were to do it for pay more often—instead of mostly just for personal use or for blogging or for mentoring—it would feel easier and take a little less out of me.

But damn, I do feel so alive!


1 comment:

rgf2edit said...

What a wonderful description - so very true! I recall disappearing into my work when writing, then emerging with a vibrant energy when finished. It's been a while since I last had an article published (I'm focused on editing nowadays) but your post immediately brought back those feelings.

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