Editing is a strange process.

I’m finding the task both hugely satisfying and exhausting. Like a skilled artist, I imagine myself adding those final touches to a painting that will lift my work. As I carve away at my stories I’m falling for the characters all over again, getting to know them intimately, their stories engraved on my mind. Even when not at the computer, chipping and adding away, my thoughts are constantly with my creations…I want to honour them by presenting them in the best way possible.

My distracted state has not gone unnoticed at home. Returning from school one day my son cautiously asked why a breakfast bowl was on the laundry basket in the bathroom. A very good question and I had no sensible answer – no doubt a new edit idea struck me between rooms. I’ve warned him to expect a lot of these unusual distractions as I battle against my perfectionist nature and concentrate singlemindedly to complete my first book.

With a selection of my short stories with a professional editor, with discussions underway for a book cover, I have been reassured that completion before Christmas is possible.

Yikes! On hearing this deadline my stomach flip-flopped with excited elation (and terror!) whilst my mind nearly overloaded as I careered through everything that needs to be done. Then, ever the Virgo, organisation took charge and with a new notebook in hand, I made lists, lots of them. These I’m slowly ticking off…

Whilst editing I have noticed my predisposition for certain words which I’ve harshly erased; even as I berate myself for my persistent use of these lame and weak phrases, I’m pleased to learn more about my writing, how to improve it with immediate effect.

Who are the culprits? Stand up words, wave goodbye and bow out!

* Also   *Now    *Then     *At last     *Just

*After all    *Of course    *Finally

Finally (noooo!!) one chap’s name appeared in three different stories…sorry, there’s only need for one George!

‘My short stories are like soft shadows I have set out in the world, faint footprints I have left. I remember exactly where I set down each and everyone one of them, and how I felt when I did. Short stories are like guideposts to my heart…’  Haruki Murakami


172 thoughts on “CHIPPING AWAY!

  1. I really love our WordPress Community!

    I was just reading Sarah’s post (Bowl on Laundry Basket) about you & this post, and was just about to to look you up, when I saw your name on my notifications! Talk about serendipity and a really wonderfully tight knit world!

    Reading your post really cracks me up! I have been extremely distracted these past couple of weeks as well, except not with editing, but generating word count (I crazily decided to do nanowrimo in the hopes to make significant headway with my story). So, I really hope to make it through to the editing stage!!!

    Thank you for sharing so endearingly and humorously; it is good to know I am not alone in leaving bowls everywhere but the sink!

    1. Ju-Lyn, you’re right about the tight knit community here on WP! 😃 When I started blogging it seemed endless, confusing and overwhelming…gradually as I became friends with more and more bloggers the world of blogging seemed to shrink, become closer, more caring – wonderfully so. So happy to meet you here! ❤️

      Wow!! Congratulations on taking part in NaNowWriMo!! I’m impressed with everyone who dares start on that road…how is it going for you? Fingers crossed…just one word after another! Here’s to lots of fun writing and many silly distractions along the way! After all, why should bowls just go in the sink…my son’s cups seems to equally have trouble finding the kitchen!

      Ps. Hope you’re fully recovered from your time in hospital. xx

      1. When I first started blogging, I didn’t expect to nor anticipate building a community; I was simply looking for an outlet to express my feelings.

        The community has become one the best parts of blogging, and I value the friendships I have built here.

        Nanowrimo has been a learning experience; I have learnt many things about myself as a writer (I get distracted easily) and as a person (I get distracted easily 🙂 ) I have explored different writing strategies (using prompts, prose poetry, flash fiction) and have had a lot of fun and satisfaction doing this. 10 more days to go of Nanowrimo before I decide where I want to go with the writing (blogging not withstanding).

        I am almost completely recovered, thanks so much for asking, Annika. I am a lot less exhausted and I can just about cough and yawn properly now. We are all very excited!

  2. Your words are always a delight, Annika! 🙂
    I’m sure your any endeavor in writing will bring you fruitful results. My best wishes with you for the upcoming stages in book-writing. Keep us updated. ❤

    1. Aditi, thank you so much for your warm and generous comment! ❤️ You know how to make a heart smile! 😃 I do hope the anthology will be welcomed and well-received…the editing is finished and my manuscript is now with my publisher. We are still hoping for a release date start of December and will definitely be updating on my blog!! Wishing you a lovely weekend. 😃

    1. Thank you so much for your well wishes!! 😀❤️ How true about the patience and concentration…in the last few days of editing my head felt like it was in fire from the intensity of work! My manuscript has now been sent off so a few days free…catching up in blogging! 😀

  3. Chipping away describes the process perfectly. And, we all fall into ruts of using the same words over and over again. That’s why we have editors. 🙂 Best of luck with the new book.

    1. Darlene, lovely to see you on my blog and to meet you over at Sally’s – she works tirelessly for all bloggers and has a wonderful blog! Once you start deep editing you realise how many superfluous words are about!😀

  4. Your post made me laugh, Annika. I also have to remove words that I use all the time, but don’t notice that I use them, when I edit my books. One of my favourites is really. Everything is really nice, really bit, really awesome.

    1. Really!!??😀😃 Sometimes things are just really…fill in gap! My go-to word for those occasions is very! Robbie, many thanks for your lovely comment and Happy Writing, Editing and Baking! 😀

  5. Chipping away is an apt title to the process of editing. I laughed at the words you crossed out after frequent use. When I do go back into a story or blog entry, I find myself wondering about my choice of words. Editing is never done. At some point, you will have to simply say, I am done and then hit the word “publish” and see what happens. I recall similar issues when I published my book. Some poems just wouldn’t sound right so I edited over and over. And some, I hit the delete button so I could move on. Good luck with the process which is a good exercise. Thanks for reminding me of the process. 🙂

    1. Mary Ann, I’m happy this brought back some good memories of your editing time and thank you for your advice!😃 Some pieces I’ve gone over time and again but I think you’re right, I have to just stop! What has amazed me is how just a couple of word changes in a story can have a huge impact and affect the whole feel of the story. Totally unexpected! The editing is now all finished and my manuscript with my editor and I can’t wait to see her suggestions. I’m so excited and particularly as we are on target to publish before Christmas!! 😃

      1. Wonderful new and good for your. Can’t wait to read it. Editing is fun and it is not. When it stops being enjoyable, that’s the time to change gears and do something else. Fresh eyes on a new day make a huge difference.

  6. I just came from Miss G’s blog post with the drawing of the breakfast bowl and had to visit the source 😉 The part about your son’s comment on the bowl on the basket did make me laugh! I hope you’re enjoying chipping away xx

    1. Christy, lovely to see you swing by from Sarah’s post…her drawing is a delight and there is such purity in her work! I’m having a lot of fun chipping away and this week finally wrote the blurb which I’ve been dreading!! I’m pleased with it and have tested it out on a few people and they love it so that’s a relief! 😀 Lots of more silly distractions the bowl on the basket incident…haha! 😀 Have a wonderful Sunday, Christy!❤️

    1. Ahh…thank you so much, Iris!! 😀❤️ That means a lot to me and I’m so excited you’re keen to read my book. Yes, I’m looking to publishing ebook version as well as paperback version.

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  8. Oh Annika, I know it is so exciting and exhausting! Congratulations on assembling your short stories for publication. I love reading stories as it is possible to get through them quickly unlike starting a big book when you have limited free time. I also love the Murakami quote. Best of luck!

    1. Lana, thank you so much for your lovely comment! 😀 Short story anthologies are becoming increasingly popular and I think it’s for the reasons you mention – time restraints! Yeah…I’m so glad you enjoy short stories and maybe you’ll have time to glance at some of mine when the book is out. Oh yes, the Murakami quote is wonderful…it’s one of four I’m considering using at the start of my anthology. Wishing you a beautiful Sunday. xx

  9. Hi Annika, since comments are closed on your new post, I thought to write here…Sarah’s post was so thoughtful and her drawing of the bowl on the laundry basket is just lovely. I laughed at that visual the first time and now I can see it in full view. 🙂 Anyway, hope your chipping away is leading to progress. Have a lovely day, my friend 💓💓

    1. Lauren, Many thanks for your lovely comment and for placing it here!! 😀😀 I’m still overwhelmed with the warmth and generosity of Sarah’s post…the drawing is wonderful and her words so touching and yes, thoughtful. The chipping away is going very well, off to continue working on the blurb today and looking for feedback from my writing group later in the week (not that they are aware of this yet!).

      Wishing you a lovely start to the month and warmest thanks again. Xx❤️

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    1. Carol, thank you so much for your terrific comment and yeah, so happy you look forward to reading the anthology!! ❤️ I’m planning a book cover reveal post when it is ready and hopefully all is still in order for release before Christmas!! I am enjoying the process, swinging between hyped excitement, intense concentration and fear!! 😀

  11. Of course, we can’t wait to read your stories now rather than later so keep on putting those bowls of cereal on top of the washing machine or in the closet, because a writer’s mind must always be focused on her characters; after all, now and then a writer must do what she needs to do, even if it’s a run on sentence and lots of those useless words! 🤓 Sending you good editing wishes.

    1. Pam, thank you so much for those editing wishes…they’re very welcome and most heartwarming! 😀❤️ Today I took a day off but back to those sentences and words tomorrow…some seem to be testing my patience! 😀 Oh yes, the household tasks are most definitely taking a backseat…ironing pile is left and only the absolute necessary tackled for the next day. My son’s glad if his favourite T shirt is ready! Pam, it means so much to me that you’re keen to read the anthology…a real inspiration on this home stretch! Hugs xx

  12. Behind the Story

    It’s exciting to be so close to completion. It sounds like you’re enjoy chipping away and shining up your stories. I always like that process. Time makes it possible to see things I missed before.

    1. Nicki, it is a very exciting (as well as slightly scary!) time…my emotions are in constant sway! 😀😀 I want the anthology to be the best possible it can be and am rereading, editing and finding small errors…at the same time it’s a joy to get to know them in minute detail. Many thanks for your lovely comment and sharing your thoughts! ❤️

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