Sunday, June 30, 2013


I believe that I touched on this topic before. Now I want to say some more about it since I came across an advice by a well-established writer in a writing magazine. Here is the quote:

"I thinking what you actually learn is the art of self-editing. It's that ability to look at a line dispassionately and not feel attached to it just because you've written it. It's also a matter of confidence." by Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The two points that he brought up in this piece of advice are pretty good. First, I like "the art of self-editing." And, from my own experience, I did learn from self-editing. This is exactly what I mean "the writer's Aha Moment" that I posted in my earlier blogs. Self-editing is the hands-on learning process for me in haiku, tanka, and haibun writing, in plays and in fiction as well.

When Mr. Adams said, ". . . It's also a matter of confidence. . . ." I said to myself, "Yes!" My novel that is in the cooling period has gone through numerous times of self-editing. As it is now, I have cut more than 3,000 words by my self-editing. I did the cutting with confidence. During the first few times of self-editing, though, I was not that sure I should make the cut. Later on, I was confident that those words and even scenes I had cut were unneeded; in other words, they simply dragged on. What has given me the confidence? To do it. And, the more I do it, the more I find the self-editing process enjoyable and educational.

I know it's hard to chop off a piece from our writing, especially a scene. To make our writing better, I'd like to refer back to Mr. Adams's advice: ". . . It's that ability to look at a line dispassionately . . ."

I believe I have developed that ability. It takes time. And it takes work.


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