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Thursday, March 15, 2012

On editing your own work.

On Thursday I finished my most recent round of edits on Shipping Greatness.  This step involved printing out the 315 pages doublespaced, going through every page with a red pen, and then applying all of those edits to the Word document. 

This process was painful.  It was slow.  I was bored.  When I grew bored I became worried that I was bored because the book was awful.  I have not been able to come up with evidence to the contrary, so I'm running on faith, at the moment.  I found that the editing work was most pleasant at the Pub, but that my productivity wasn't great, particularly after my second pint of Lucille.

I pushed really hard to make it through the red-ink stage to get to the copy-to-computer stage, figuring it would go quickly.  In a fit of curiosity I attempted to edit on an Android Honeycomb tablet, the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and QuickOffice from the Android App Store.  This was a horrible mistake.  I used a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, but the app was so impossibly slow I couldn't scroll past the table of contents.  Also, there are no shortcut keys to jump back and forth by words, or copy and paste, get the point.

Now I have a quad core Macbook Pro with 12GB of RAM and an SSD.  It seems to run Microsoft Word OK.  Frankly, it should sequence genes OK.  But the process of incorporating the edits was still PAINFUL.  Now I couldn't go to the pub and do work because I needed the laptop and the paper - at some point there's a limit to how much you should spread out.  Also, I needed to sit at a table, which ruled out other fun places to work, like on the couch.  So the process became more painful.

I am done with this pass, however.  I'm not sure if I'll follow the same-two step process again; I certainly find problems more easily on paper, but I think this two-step process is slower than it needs to be.

Thoughts?  Share them with me at

1 comment:

  1. Have you run across Scrivener? Runs on Mac (ok, or Windows), and is intended specifically to help manage giant manuscripts. Works well, I think.