Why editing is like moving, part 2 (with a few reminders thrown in)

It's time for another installment of Why Editing is Like Moving. (Otherwise known as "Miriam wants to blog about editing but can only think about moving, so here is an analogy.")

Both editing and moving go through similar stages.

Stage 1: Optimism. 
It's not so bad! I have plenty of time and the house is already pretty clean. I have a plan, I'm organized, I'm ready. Just let me get started and things will be done in no time!

Stage 2: Confusion: 
Why do we own fifteen pairs of mittens? Do we really need this? Or this? Wait, this goes in a box I've already taped up! How could we run out of boxes? Where were we keeping all this stuff? But if we pack all the towels, how will we take baths? WHY CAN'T I FIND THE ONE THING I NEED THAT WOULD MAKE THIS WORK? 

Stage 3: Despair:
This is too much work. It'll never get done. The house is a shambles, everything's pulled apart and there's no way in hell I can ever put it back together. I'm running out of time and my back hurts and I'm tired and it's all impossible anyway. I should just lay down here and hope a pile of boxes falls and mercifully crushes me. Goodbye, cruel world! 

Stage 4. Determination:
Well, I suppose I can't actually lay down and give up. I mean, this has to get done, we made an agreement with the landlord, and he's already rented the house out to someone else. So I guess I'll get up. Put this in a box, put that in a box. Clean this shelf, pack this drawer. Just keep moving, doing what needs to be done, because sometimes that's just what you have to do. 

Stage 5: Tiredness
I can't feel my hands anymore, and my brain is an endless gray blanket of fuzz. I haven't showered in days. I forgot to eat lunch, and I'm incapable of any conversation other that "uh." Time has stretched out to one long slog. All I know is dirt and boxes and the smells of cardboard and cleaning solution. But I'm not stopping, no way. Just gotta keep trudging...

Stage 6: Arrival
Wait, I'm done? Like really done?  Like nothing else to do? The truck is packed, the last bit of dust has been wiped from the closet, everything is clean and bare and ready for the next family. I'm done. It's over.  We did it. Time to celebrate!

Stage 7: Collapse.
I'll celebrate after I sleep. *thunk*

Right now I'm in stage four, but I'm sure I'll be in stage five by Tuesday. And I went through this exact emotional process with both my line edits and my copyedits as well.  It's all perfectly normal, though it's no fun at the time.


In other, happier news, the City of a Thousand Dolls cover reveal is tomorrow!

And to whet your appetite, here's the link to my City of a Thousand Dolls Pinterest board, so you can see stuff that reminded me (and my editor) of the book.

Yeah, I'm on Pinterest. I caved.

AND there will be a contest unlike anything I've ever done before on the blog. Here's a hint:

It all goes down tomorrow, so don't miss it!

If YOU had to compare editing to something, what would it be?


  1. Packing and moving is overwhelming! And then unpacking everything is a lot like first draft revisions, LoL. Good luck with your move, Miriam, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow!!

  2. I'd compare editing to getting a root canal during which the anesthesia fades in and out.

  3. Ahahahaha.  I love it! It can be such a pain, and yet the results are so awesome! 

  4. I've been meaning to check out Pininterest, but I haven't gotten around to it. Don't you need an invite or something?? *is clueless* Also, it's already your tomorrow here in Oz, so I should get to see the cover now.

  5. Thanks Laura! I'm excited too. *grin* And I love your unpacking= first draft revisions. Those are a mess, aren't they? :)

  6. Don't tempt me! I'm already having to talk myself out of putting it up early. :) 

    Yeah, you need an "invite" but that basically means you give them your name and email and then they send you an access email so you can get started. It's not a big deal, and I think it might be to cut down on spammers? Who knows...

  7. So excited to see the cover tomorrow!!!

  8. If I had to compare editing to something... hmmm. Music practice.
    Stage 1 - You've got a new piece, you're really excited, it sounds awesome on the CD. When you've learned it, you'll be a proper violinist.
    Stage 2 - It sounds terrible. It's nothing like as good as it is on the CD. You'll never be a proper violinist.
    Stage 3 - You've got a lesson tomorrow and you haven't improved at all. You have to practice a lot. Even if it sounds horrible.
    Stage 4 - Your teacher points out what you're doing wrong. Suddenly it starts to sound better. Maybe you can do this!
    Stage 5 - You listen to the CD again. Yep, you'll never be that good.
    Stage 6 - Your exam is in a month, so you practice hard... and it's coming. Maybe you'll be that proper violinist.
    Stage 7 - You take the exam. You still don't sound like the CD, but hey, that guy's a professional. You sound a whole lot better than you did before. Maybe if you carry on practicing, you'll get there in the end?

  9. YES. This is perfect. 

    I personally will never be a proper violinist. I couldn't even pull off being a proper pianist. :)

  10. I will not be a 'proper violinist' unless I can actually get to the practicing stage. At the moment my excuse is my ear troubles, but I can't use that one forever.


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