No Pain Self Editing

edit on the go

edit on the go (Photo credit: fensterbme)

Self editing should be and needs to be a very important part of your writing process. The only problem is we have a tendency to feel overwhelmed and think we should scrap the project because its too much work. At The Other Side Of The Story, a blog by Janice Hardy, has a guest post by author Emily Wenstrom, who offers sound advice on how authors can get through the self-editing process.

Guest Author Emily Wenstrom: How One Editor Learned to Edit Herself

Join me in welcoming Emily Wenstrom to the blog today. Emily wears a lot of different writing hats, and she’s here to share a few tips on how to edit yourself.

Lit addict, movie junkie, writer. Emily is a creative writer fascinated with science fiction, fantasy and monsters of all kinds. When she’s not writing about these, she’s a professional writer working in marketing and public relations. She blogs about creativity in art and career at Creative Juicer. She also recently launched wordhaus, a short story zine built for the digital age, now seeking submissions.

Take it away Emily…

I write fiction on the side, but by day I’m a professional writer and editor. I’ve also been managing editor of a city magazine, proofed for a political newsletter, worked a brief stint at a daily newspaper copy desk, and served as the last line of defense against typos and grammatical gaffes at a marketing agency. I’ve even created my share of in-house style guides for publications, agencies and even client companies. Read more here.

Writers Go For The Gusto!

I often wonder why I sometimes hesitate when it comes to writing. I want to jump right in and go for the gold, but there is this little thing that creeps up inside me and screams HALT! I get jittery because I am not sure that I am ready even though I am achieving so many wonderful writing goals. So what is it? Are we waiting for a pat on the back or perhaps someones permission to dive into the writing pool? Well, maybe. I came across and article from Cathy Stucker that helped me feel uplifted and ready to jump right in and go for the gusto! Enjoy!

Stop Waiting for Permission

March 17th, 2011

How do successful people become successful? They do things. Instead of sitting around waiting for the Permission Fairy to whack them upside the head with her magic wand, they just go out and do what they need to do.

I get a lot of questions from clients, students and others about how to do various things. Sometimes these questions are about the technical details of how to do something, but often the question is about how they go about getting permission to publish a book, become a consultant, create a course, etc. They want to know what course they need to complete, what group they need to join or who needs to give them a title before they can do what they want to do. While that is necessary if you want to be a doctor, in the world of entrepreneurs you do not need a license to succeed.

When someone is waiting for permission it is often because they do not have confidence in their ability to do something. The way to get that confidence is not to look to someone else. The way to get confidence in your ability to do something is to do it.

In the corporate world there are people who hand out titles and job duties. As an entrepreneur, you are the one who decides what your title is (if any) and what responsibilities you have. Want to be a published author? Write a book and get it published. Want to be a professional speaker? Get to the front of the room and start talking. Want to be a consultant? Start lining up clients you can help. It’s up to you.

There are people and educational resources to help with the things you do not know how to do or that you do not want to do on your own. However, there is no one who can give you permission. No one but you. Read more here.

The Writer’s Life with Author Lisa (L.D.) Harkrader

Lisa Harkrader

Follow all 7 authors on their 6-day Virtual Book Tours and leave comments and you could win the Giftbox Giveaway from the National Writing for Children Center. Click here to keep following the tours.

A writer’s life isn’t glamorous (although you do stumble upon a glamorous moment here and there), and it’s not as carefree and endlessly creative as it may seem. But I wouldn’t trade it for any other life.

I start my day at about 5:30 each morning. This first bit is completely unglamorous: I take my dogs outside to potty, then wrangle my kids out of bed and get them off to school. Then I make a pot of coffee (my son, who is an incredibly insightful gift giver, gave me a coffee maker for my office for Christmas last year, so now I don’t even have to trek back and forth to the kitchen for my caffeine fix) and settle down to work.

Here’s where I need to make a case for a pleasant work space. I used to have an office in our tiniest bedroom, a space hardly bigger than a closet. It was filled with shelves and books and piles of cra—er, research and my big bulky desk. There was exactly enough room left over for me to sit in my desk chair, as long as I didn’t go crazy and try to swivel. The room was in the back of the house, cut off from civilization, with only one very narrow window. When I ventured back there to write, I felt like I’d sentenced myself to the dungeon.

A year ago, I decided I couldn’t take it any more. I threw out the desk, the shelves, the piles of, um, research, culled the books, and moved my office downstairs to an alcove off our family room. I love it. It’s open and light and clean. I have a sink, a small refrigerator, the aforementioned coffee pot, and a large framed Beatles Abbey Road poster on the wall behind my computer for inspiration. I also have a new desk: sleek, metal and glass, with no shelves or drawers to accumulate clutter. Now, instead of trudging to the dungeon, I trip downstairs each morning, ready to work.

Well, ready to check my email, then work.

Mornings are my most productive time, and I usually work nonstop until lunch, which can happen at pretty much any time. On days when I’m frustrated, can’t figure out what I’m doing, am slogging along, I hear the refrigerator call my name by about 9:30 a.m. On days when the writing is going well, I’m focused and can’t be bothered to stop, I hear my son rattle through the door after school and realize it’s 3:00 p.m. and I’ve forgotten to eat.

In a writer’s life—or at least, in my writer’s life—no two days are the same. When I’m under a looming deadline, I write late into the night, then get up early the next day to write some more before the kids get up. When I do a school visit or attend a writerly event, such as a conference or awards banquet (those are the glamorous moments I was talking about), I get little writing done, if any. Some days the loneliness of writing overwhelms me. On those days, I whisper a little thank you to the geniuses who invented laptops and take my iBook to a coffee shop or bookstore so that I can write without feeling cut off from other people. About once a week a friend and I get together for a write-in. We meet at a wi-fi café, order something delicious for lunch, and sit side-by-side with our laptops, writing the afternoon away.

It’s not glamorous. Some would even call it dull. But it’s exactly the life I’ve always want to lead.


To learn more about Lisa Harkrader please visit

The Writer’s Life with Author Karen Cioffi

How does a writer write – what’s a typical day?

I’m sure no two writers have the same writing schedule. Life usually has a way of putting aside our best laid plans. Having said that, I know it’s important to have a plan, preferably a weekly plan so you know where you’re heading that week, and what you need to accomplish.

I start my week attempting to make a plan, but my mistake is always the same: I log onto my yahoo email account – my day is no longer my own. You would think I would have learned by now to get some work done before I check my mail. But, in my defense, I run an author tour group, and have a number of writing clients that I have to be sure aren’t looking for me. Okay, I know that’s an excuse, I guess habits are just hard to break. 

And, it’s not just the mail that draws my attention and time away, it’s also all the emails from marketers. Which ones should I open? Which ones may I need for my clients’ article writing? Which will teach me new marketing strategies? Which will have great writing advice? Depending on the number of marketing emails, my morning disappears. If I’m really behind on my work, I just delete all non-essential marketing emails – out of sight, out of mind! 

Anyway, in the morning, before I go to the computer, I try to get household chores done. Then, I wander over to the computer. After I check my mail and respond to what I have to (each day the amount of time varies), I tackle my work. And, I forgot to mention, I babysit my two little grandsons on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so those days I may not get on the computer at all. 

Interestingly, I seemed to have strayed from writing for children exclusively. I ventured into ghostwriting, first for children’s books, and then for article writing for businesses, as well as editing/ghostwriting other works. I think because of my accounting background I have a knack for this type of writing and keep getting more clients. This definitely takes away from my own children’s writing. I have three works-in-progress that are sitting on the back burner for the time being. And, my children’s fantasy in contract with 4RV isn’t due to come out until the end of 2011, or the very beginning of 2012. 

What’s a little difficult about the ghostwriting is that you never know when a client will want additional work that week, so it’s hard to have a steady schedule. Or, if you get a new client on board. . . What some writers may not realize is that having a freelance business isn’t just about writing – it’s bookkeeping, managing, organizing, corresponding, and writing. And, if you need to hire subcontractors there is even more work involved. Okay, sorry, I’ve strayed off topic. Often I find myself playing catch up. So, that’s my typical writing day.


Day's End Lullaby

Learn more about Karen and her book at