Thursday, June 01, 2006

Writer's pride

I was right about my editor's red-biro-marked copy of my Galatians manuscript. It's very depressing for two reasons. One is he's made a lot of suggestions and the other is that he has tiny, spidery handwriting that I find hard to decipher!

Many of his suggestions are making the text clearer and easier to read. But some are subtly changing the sense of things. I find myself bristling with a sort of writerly angst that changing a word or phrase is going to materially and substantially alter the meaning of what I've written.

So I have been very gingerly working through the suggestions made and questions raised, weighing each one carefully and then accepting most of them - editing usually improves things in my experience.

But seeing so much of one's writing crossed out, reworded or, even worse, underlined with a comment 'not clear what this means' inserted in the margin is a sobering sight for a writer. I'd chosen the words so carefully (mostly), thought what I was saying was crystal clear - as well as brimful of insight and wisdom - and feel my hackles rising as I consider so many changes.

Ah the writer's pride... Get over it!

I'm a third of the way through, so I should have it finished next week - given that I've got to fit it in with preparation for Sri Lanka - though because I'm using Galatians as the basis for one day, editing the book is good preparation in itself - reminding me what I think of Paul's most wonderful and passionate piece of writing.

No comments: