Editing

Oh my. I spent the last while looking through some of my old posts and I think that quite a few of them could use some editing for coherency. I have a tendency to vomit words onto my blog and hit “Publish” with all the enthusiasm that I can gather at 11:55 at night wait I never post that late and pass out in bed so that I can wake up with almost enough time to get to work.

The word vomiting actually works pretty well for me, but only if I actually read my post again before I publish it. My mind works far too strangely for my posts tell the story I want them to tell on the first pass. (This is also why my papers need many editors.) I shall have to keep this in mind for the future.

Now that I’ve written the above comments, I expect that I will re-read this post sometime in the future and wonder what kind of sense I was trying to make. Karma gets me a lot. (Like that time this week I complained on twitter about people on the internet being unable to spell, and then I misspelled a word in my tweet. I think it’s to keep my ego containable.)

In other writerly news, it seems as though I’ve officially been put on the “Primary Writer” list at ChemCompanion. It all began with that silly data management plan (which I’m still mildly terrified about), and now I’ve been tasked with writing video solution scripts for our sample problems. Me! Writing scripts! That will become a textbook! Ahhh!!! Scary!

ALL I WANTED WAS TO ANIMATE! IS THAT SO TERRIBLE!?

What this really gets down to is the fact that writing is hard. I’ve spent about 14 of the last 16 hours that I worked mulling over the sample problems, writing solutions and coming up with new problems. I feel like I still have miles to go, and I told Dr. Wood I’d they’d be ready by Tuesday. Monday is a holiday. I may end up working on a holiday. And BYU doesn’t believe in paying me overtime for it. A number of our sample problems have animated solutions, so what makes it difficult is that in writing the solutions I have to match the voice to our text. I’m not trained as an editor, so trying to get the voice right is hard. I’ve reverted to my vomit-words strategy to get a draft out and then return to edit the voice after there are words to play with. This has proven successful for me.

I’d better try and do a sub-par job. If this keeps up, he’ll be asking me to write a chapter next. Yes, I am ignoring the fact that my type A personality refuses to allow me to quit until it’s right. Lot’s of people do average work, why can’t I? Or, why can’t I say no to things like “Eliza could you write this NSF grant data management plan?” or “Eliza do you want to write about 10 more problems like this? And solutions to the rest of them?”

At the end of the day, I can’t really complain (although I just did). Being asked to write is a compliment, and I’m doing a pretty good job at it. It’s just scary and hard. But I’m a big believer that the only way to overcome your fears is to move forward and face them. So, sample problem scripts, I shall defeat you! Because I am better than you!

(It turns out that having an enormous ego really helps overcome large tasks. Feeling like you’re better than anything you could be asked to do tends to give a lot of confidence. What? I’m not arrogant. What are you talking about?)

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