The inspiration for this list is, well frankly, my latest labor over the editing process. I hope you enjoy the list and, yes I have done some of these things.
Ten Things Not to Do if You Are Editing Your Book.
10) If you are editing, do not think glasses of wine make the work go easier. If you do, at best you’ll just have to do it over. At worst, you might inadvertently delete several chapters of your book under the belief that you have better ones in mind. (Aren’t you glad you had that backup file Goof-ball?)
9) If you are editing, do not think you can watch the football game while you work. If you do, at best you will catch all your mistakes on the second go around. At worst, you think you found them all only to discover in reading a review the question, “What does a touchdown have to do with the relationship?” (Hmm you can explain that can’t you Bunkie?)
8) If you are editing, do not decide to change a character’s name with “find and replace.” If you do, At best you’ll catch the ones missed. At worst, you will have a new character named JerryTinyO.” (That extra space sure made a difference. Oh, and Tiny would like to see you. He’s over at the gym straightening out horseshoes.)
7) If you are editing, do not believe long breaks will enhance your work. If you do, at best you will be editing this book forever. At worst, your continuity will go out the window, and your book will read like a short story collection. (You had not intended to publish short stories, did you Ferd?”)
6) If you are editing, do not ask your friends to read the new edits. If you do, at best the opinions will be so varied you’ll be confused. At worst, you will come to realize you need new friends and a new book. (You now wish you had just given it to an editor right?)
5) If you are editing, do not try to do the whole thing in one sitting. If you do, at best you will be exhausted. At worst, you may stop caring how the stupid book comes out and just want to get it done. (Your two-star reviews aren’t much of a reward are they?)
4) If you are editing, do not snack to reduce stress. If you do, at best you’ll need extra exercise hours. At worst, your snacking will resemble a runaway train from which there is no return. (Getting a grip is so much harder when there is more of you isn’t it?)
3) If you are editing, do not believe the rest of the family understands your pain. If you do, at best you’ll feel misunderstood. At worst, you will constantly be thinking of ways to take your angst out on your characters. (This book has taken on a sinister air hasn’t it Stephen?)
2) If you are editing, do not abandon personal hygiene. If you do, at best you will be alone. At worst, your family could be seeking council with the local mental health provider, and you’ll get more help than you need. (You can still type with that white jacket on right Buford?)
1) If you are editing, know when it is time to stop. If you don’t at best, you will never finish the book. At worst, you will suffer PETS (Post Editing Traumatic Syndrome) and never sleep again. (You need to stop going over the book in your head. It is published already.)