Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Leaving My Comfort Zone

I love my comfort zone. It's so safe and soft and fuzzy. Every once and a while I leave it, but that just makes it all the more special when I return back to its welcoming embrace. However, I have left its warmth for the duration of the winter.

During the summer, finding myself a little short on money and more than a little bored with my life, I applied to be a ski instructor. Last weekend was my first on snow training and I was terrified. I didn't sleep at all the night before, could barely eat dinner, and had pepto bismo for breakfast. Why was I so scared?

It could be I was having flashbacks to my college ski class. I was by far the worst in the group and everyone had to keep stopping to pick me up again and again. The instructor was determined to advance my group through certain things but, I'm sorry, if I can't ski down the greens then I'm not going over that jump without falling. It's just not possible.

I also don't like people to watch me doing physical stuff. I'm a bit of a klutz and having an audience only brings that to the forefront. I was certain my training was going to be filled with skiers much better than me and an instructor who found nothing right with me and made me want to cry.

To my relief, I held my own with the class and got a "good balance" from the ski instructor. Maybe I'm not so bad after all. But since this week I start teaching actual people, I won't put the pepto bismo away quite yet.

How do you leave your comfort zone?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Editing My First Book

I received my first round of edits from my editor this week. Did you know I have an editor? Did you know I'm getting my book published? Maybe my editor will introduce me to my publicist. There I think I've casually dropped that into the conversation enough times.

As an editor and as someone who enters in corrections from editors into books, I would have thought I'd be prepared for this stage of the process. My editor (see how seamlessly I fit that in) wrote a few new paragraphs and left almost no sentence unchanged. Luckily for me, and for him, this book is not my baby so I'm less defensive than the average author.

I figured he would edit for grammar, clarity, and consistency but was surprised to find entire sentences using words I had never heard of nor knew the meaning to. Most of the editors I work with don't add in complete thoughts but just ask the author to clarify or suggest adding in a paragraph.

Thanks to advice from other bloggers, I sat on the corrections for a few days before responding. I realized that a lot of the new paragraphs were mine, they were just cut and pasted from different places and tweaked. I also realized most of his changes were more nitpicky than actually changing of meaning so I let those in. The only changes I really objected to was when he added sentences that I felt missed the tone of the book. Those I edited to be more my voice.

All in all, it was good first step on the road to being a published author.