Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Funnies - The Editing Process

by Amanda Forester

The profession of book-writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business. --John Steinbeck

I used to look forward to Sundays because the newspaper would publish the comics in color. Remember the olden days when they had newspapers? In honor of the Sunday funnies I’ve attached some clips and quotes about the editing process from a more lighthearted perspective. After all, if you do not keep your sense of humor in this business you will soon decide your father was right all along and drop writing to pursue that career in underwater welding. Yeah Dad, I know, unlike writers they’re always in demand.

I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. –Anne Lamott

Writing is an odd business. Everyone seems to have an opinion about how you could and should improve your work. From copy editors, to the grocery checkout clerk, to your great aunt Edna, there is no end of advice when it comes to improving your novel. Of course some advice is very good, the kind you love to have and pay to get. Other advice is, well… more like this.

For business reasons, I must preserve the outward sign of sanity. –Mark Twain

As writers, we know how to accept professional criticism. We are consummate professionals. We accept rejection and negative feedback with grace and dignity… as shown in the next clip.

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. --Thomas Mann

I think that pretty much sums it up! Did you see yourself in any of these clips?


  1. LOL on the James T Kirk video. I really loved that when I was growing up. But, maybe he should have been a writer instead of an actor??? Oh, yeah, he did write a book, didn't he? Don't all actors??? :) I hope he didn't behave so badly over edits. :) Truly, I loved him! And Spock, and Scottie, and Sulu (sp?) and the rest of the wonderfully fun crew. And Cpt Jean Luc Picard in the new series and...

  2. Keeping one's sense of humor while going through copyediting should be something one can win an Olympic gold medal for.

    I have looked like Kirk more than a few times--except, not so manly.

  3. Love than Thomas Mann quote. I may need to put that in my office.

  4. OMG!!!!OMG!OMG!!!!!!!!! AMANDA!!!!
    I laughed until I cried. Yes, been there, done that on both clips!!!!!

  5. Fun post, Amanda! A sense of humor is invaluable. :}

  6. GREAT post, Amanda!

    The first clip could have been me and my CP during our brainstorming session yesterday (except there needed to be strawberry margaritas on the desk)!

    And TOTALLY AGREE, MM!!! Olympic medals for revision letters, copyedits, proposal tweaking... they ALL induce James T. Kirk style wailing. ;-)


  7. LOL Amanda! Thanks for that. Cindy - maybe my critique meetings would be more fruitful with strawberry margaritas...must try it next week.

  8. Hi Gals! These clips and quotes gave me a laugh and I'm glad they did for you too! I think maintaining a sense of humor with edits is so important, and so hard at times. I've looked like Kirk more than once, except more pathetic, with both hands clutching chocolate. I think I'll try strawberry margaritas next time!

  9. OMG! That first clip was hysterical! I can SO see certain "helpers" saying something very similar. LOL! Thanks for a terrific laugh. And, of course, who doesn't love that greatest of all actors of all time, William Shatner. ;-)