A colleague of mine has honored me by asking me to edit her children's book. Considering that this person does not know me very well and considering that writing is such a personal think, I was pleasantly astounded that she would ask me to do this task.
And what fun it is! The book is absolutely charming and very well written. A pleasure to read.
Today, we had our first editorial review of the initial, three chapters. I had some ideas about enhancing some scenes, some ideas about adding depth to some of the characters, and was able to point out some areas where some odd anomalies had crept in. The author was very gracious about hearing my thoughts and seemed to like the suggestions I gave very much.
I've never edited fiction before so I wasn't sure how to go about it. But, once I started reading, I could draw upon the gazillion stories that I've read. And it worked. I felt that I had been able to contribute in a positive way. It would be so much joy to see my colleague have her book published and know that I had a small part to play in its success.
Editing this book has made me think about doing some of my own writing -- something that I haven't done in many years. A friend of mine has a writing group ...a small group of authors of all types that get together for critique, ideas, support. I have some ideas about essays that I might want to try to write and am thinking about joining the group. I've always been way too self-conscious to do something like this...which is odd considering that as a tech writer, my work is critiqued on a regular basis. Then again, personal writing is so much more...well...personal. It's an extension of one's soul, it's the message that you want to share with the world.
Maybe I've just reached the point where I no longer take others' opinions of me or my work personally. Maybe I've gained enough self-confidence or sense of self-worth that the thought of listening to critique of something personal like writing is not as scary as it once was.
I like that I am starting to have some ideas about writing...even if I never go through with it, I'm content enough to think that if I do, I'd be quite OK with having it read.