Saturday, April 10, 2010
I'm an "Epic" Editor
What I DID was make his manuscript bleed (upon his request, of course) with my red pen and helped edit his book, Epic Ain't Easy.
I considered using this project as a New Thing, but it wouldn't have quite hit the mark on my objectives. The idea behind my New Things is that they push my limits and make me uncomfortable. Even though I've never helped edit a book manuscript before, it didn't qualify as an official New Thing for 2010 and I'll tell you why.
Helping Jed edit his book was one of the most interesting projects I've ever done and I was excited to be involved. I had read samples of Jed's work before and loved his poignant and humorous writing style. When I heard he was writing a book on his cross-country cycling adventure, I told him I wanted in.
I received the manuscript via email one weekend in mid-November. Jed sent it to me and four others, calling us the Epic Edit Team. In the email he introduced us to each other with brief bios and laid out the project. I enjoyed the bio he wrote for me:
Shanna- Currently resides in Kansas City and has been recruited because her husband mentioned she likes my writing style. Further investigations revealed she is also in possession of wicked skills, quick brains and an ability to provide criticism with the midwestern charm that removes the sting. Shanna is also smokin' hot but as is usually the case she's already got a dance partner.
I thought his description of me was hilarious. I don't know about the "smokin' hot" part, but if someone wants to say that about me, I won't stop them. And it won't bother me to post it on my own blog either. ;)
The manuscript was attached in the email and I couldn't wait to get started.
My goal was to be able to provide my edits to him by the end of November, so I took it with me on the long drive home for Thanksgiving. I was prepared with a book light since it would be dark much of the travel time, but the stupid thing didn't even work. Luckily my husband had his hunting gear packed in the car and had a headlamp I could borrow. I actually edited a good portion of the manuscript wearing his camoflauge headlamp. Really. Picture me in the passenger seat of a car with a camo headlamp, manuscript and red pen. That's how it went down. My daughter was incredibly freaked out by the light attached to my head, but she fell asleep soon enough. I mailed Jed the manuscript with my edits in late November.
The book editing project reaffirmed how much I love writing. Around the same time that Jed's book arrived in the mail, my uncle gave me a book by Marcus Buckingham called Find Your Strongest Life. One of my biggest take-aways from Strongest Life was to learn to recognize activities that make you feel strong and figure out ways to spend more of your time doing those things.