Thursday, July 30, 2009

Monkey mind

Another thing about copy editing [are you sick of this subject yet?] is that it forces you to use your monkey mind (your conscious mind), instead of your wild mind (your unconscious mind).

[Natalie Goldberg's Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life]

That means that you have to really think about the words in a different way than you think about the story.

It's almost as if the writing is just that: words....

....separate....individual words.....disconnected from the words around them that form a whole (i.e., a meaningful story).

Does that make sense? can sometimes make me nuts - because when I think about the words so much, I lose the unconscious flow that was the original creation - and then I start questioning myself too much.

I'm currently going through the copy edits of my next novel, The Short, Sad Life of Tooley Graham.

Today I'm thinking about railroad tracks vs train tracks.

I know, I know.....

When I wrote the manuscript, I didn't think about those words.

Sometimes I used railroad tracks.

And sometimes I used train tracks.

And one copy editor says I should be consistent.

And one copy editor says it doesn't matter.

And I have a Post-It note on every page with that phrase so I can think about it.

And the more I think about it....

Good grief....

I need my monkey mind to go away and my wild mind to come back.


lurban said...

I have loved these editing posts, Barbara. Thanks for sharing your thoughts -- monkey and wild.

coloradowriter said...

I call this phenomenom, "Can't see the story for all the words." And comma use rules trigger it for me.