Do What You Do Best
If you’ve been keeping up with me on Facebook, you might recall I’m in the process of finishing up the writing of “The Other End Of The Stethoscope #2: 33 More Insights For Excellent Patient Care.”
If you’ve never written a book, it may be hard to understand what a colossal pain in the butt it is to write a book. Every author and writer has their own way of doing things. Here’s mine:
First, crank through the rough draft as quick as possible. Typeos, incorrect grammar, incomplete sentences, who cares? I just get it out of my head and onto my hard drive.
Second step: self editing. I go back through every line, trying to clean it up, make it flow more smoothly and to re-read it with a different pair of eyes (or, in my case, ears.)
Then, I pass it off to a professional. Third step? My lovely wife, Marvelyne. We fell in love sometime while she was editing “After This…” and my first “Stetho” book, and even though we now share an address, she’s not afraid to tell me, “Marc, this sucks.” To which I usually give a big groan and tell her to have her way with it. THAT, faithful reader, is key…
I’m now in stage #2, self editing. And what do I know? I’m no editor. Not even close. This is why, in 2010, I want to continue to live a truth I already know: Do what you do best…and let others do what THEY do best.
No one can write my chapters, books, Ensights and blogs for me. But, I can’t write a book by myself. There’s just too many aspects of creating a book that are too important to trust to me alone. Hence, this is where an editor (or, in my case, wife) comes in.
Writers must, MUST trust their editors. The editor’s whole job is to edit. That is often thought of as proofreading. And that’s part of it, but a pretty small part of it. In actuality, a spellcheck program is probably better than the human eye for proofing. The editor, however, helps massage the words to have the correct impact on the reader. By the time my editor/wife starts to do this, I’m pretty well burnt out on the book in general. So, I need her fresh eyes to create something better out of something (hopefully) good.
This year, make a committment to do what you do best…and to let others take on the tasks where they excel. Everyone ends up much happier this way!