The Writer’s Life: The Definition of Procrastination
This blog is a procrastination technique.
The day before yesterday, yesterday, today, tomorrow – basically every free moment this week – I am supposed to be proofreading the manuscript for my fifth book, Unlimited Intuition Now.
Without doubt, it’s my favorite book so far but I have come to the dreaded part of the process where I have to proofread the formatted version.
I was speaking to my mother this morning.
“I thought that was the editor’s job,” my mother said.
“Well yes. I write the book, the editor (Tony Kessler) edits it, then it goes to be formatted, which is where somebody lays out the words on pages so it can then be published. At any stage of the process somebody can make a mistake.”
Proofreading brings most authors I know to our knees.
At this stage of the game, I get emails from my friends and fellow authors who confess to me how stupid they – we – me – all feel. You’ve written the book somebody has blessed it and now you are about to go to press and you wondered how the heck you ever managed to pass 11th grade English.
For example, when I was trying to convince Tony Kessler, my current editor, to join my team, I sent him What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness and Unlimited Energy Now, two of my three recent Amazon No. 1 best sellers.
“My favorite mistake was ‘junk good,'” Tony told me (instead of junk food).
I could read over “junk good” one hundred times – or so it must have happened – and not discovered my own egregious error.
So here I am, gently facing my own stupidity.
Yesterday I was speaking to the gentlemen who formats my books. I thought he might have possibly laid out the wrong version of the manuscript. You write, you edit, the files get emailed back and forth and God only knows how many possible incarnations of the book could be floating out there in the cloud world.
But no. He had the correct version.
The heinous errors were all mine and I hadn’t picked up on a large portion of them until I sat down for proofreading.
Big breath in, big breath out!
“This reminds me of when I wrote my very first book,” I said to my formatting expert.
“I would discover errors and spend days working myself up to discuss them with my editor, only to realize that I and I alone was the idiot in the room.”
Another way to describe the proofreading experience is that this part of the process could be thought of as a “Come to Jesus” moment.
You realized you have met the enemy and he is YOU.
As in, “Who wrote this garbage?” but that would be the harshest way to put it.
More likely, “Who made this dumb mistake,” only to look in the mirror a few seconds later and recognize her staring right back at me.
As a result of this humbling realization, I discover endless ways to procrastinate, knowing and experiencing that editing, proofreading and facing the countless errors of my own ways is never easy for me to do.
I check my Facebook. I tweet on Twitter. I return phone calls.
Heck, if my floors needed mopping I am sure I would have the bucket and soap out at this very moment, as even washing the floor on my hands and knees is easier than finding all my mistakes.
Sure enough, once my books get published, my very helpful friends often hand me a list of my mistakes with their corresponding page numbers.
Maybe it’s time for a snack?
I think I have a client coming in 13 minutes. Yea!
Another excuse, another day wasted.
But one day, when the shiny new book arrives in my hands, I will open up Unlimited Intuition Now and smile, my favorite book finally in hand.