The journey. Is everything.
I’m in the process of picking my business venture. I’ve talked to my mentor about it and he suggested that I right down each of the pros and cons of each idea. I’m doing that now and it is going well. I think I’ve already know which one I’m moving strongly to, but I’ll let the experiment play it’s course. With the three choices, the thing that is driving my decision more than anything is the journey. The journey of the actual business venture, not the destination.
In business, the main destination factor is the money, the profit. Some other destinations that are as important are: fame, helping people with the profit made and of course helping solve the client’s needs. Those are end goals, you see. It’s the carrot that we reach for all the time. It is the measurement of our own defined success.
But, what if we knew, with logic and confidence, that we were going to have all of those destination items checked off—how would that make us feel? Where could we go from there? Well, I think the answer is simple. We would figure out how to enjoy the moments leading up to the destination even more.
Everything that I do now, I look at the process. I look at the various steps that are needed in order to accomplish the goal. Most of the time, the end product doesn’t matter. It’s all about how I feel during the journey. The reason why the journey is the most important thing to me in the life of the idea, business and anything else that I do, is because that is what’s done the most.
Just like in my various hobbies, I enjoyed the process. With coffee, it’s about the process of selecting and grinding the beans, preparing my hot water, making sure I warm my half and half, getting ready to time the brew time and mix in the coffee and water together. See, the drinking of the coffee is more secondary and truly is the cherry on top of the cake. But the whole cake is the journey to get there. I’ve done this analyses with pizza making, with writing, with being in the moment with my wife and even in mediating.
It’s been nearly two weeks since I finished the editing of my second manuscript. The whole process took me roughly 6-7 weeks. Nearly everyday, I managed to do 2 pages or more of editing. In the beginning it was hard, the middle I picked up momentum and at the end my head was fried.
When it was done, I was able to knock off 5 “Word” pages, cut approximately 5,000 words and, more importantly, make a complete story.
The editing process of this book was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. There are not alot of things in the world that are hard to me. Just a little thinking and follow through is needed to complete most things. But this process was intense, and mind draining because I had to constantly be honest with myself about each paragraph and line and word. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. But, the most important part is that it’s done. I gave the book to my new editor for the last time. I know that she will do a great job. Once she is done, I can’t wait to give it out to people to enjoy or hate or be indifferent about it.
But, there is something else that I need to say about the manuscript and the editing process before I return to the real world.
I started on Monday. I didn’t even want to. I was dreading the process. Even though my manuscript is only 100 Microsoft Word pages, it seemed like a crappy task to take on. Did I really need to edit my work for one last time? I kept asking myself that question. I paid an experienced editor some good money to edit my novel. He did a good job, but with his recommendations and some loose ends that I wanted to clear up, the tedious task needed to be done. Editing your own work is some hard shit. That is in fact the reason why my first novel isn’t on Amazon right now. It scares the shit out me. The whole editing process is like looking at yourself in the mirror and training yourself to look for every single problem of yourself. Kind of depressing, if you ask me.
So I started on Monday. Did the first two pages! I don’t think I edited anything. It sounded and looked fine. I told myself that I could pick up the pace and do 3-4 pages a day and should be done with the grueling process by the end of the month. Tuesday was a little bit more involved. I think I spent an hour on one page. Same thing with Wednesday. A good day, but just got through one page. My head was spinning, but I was knocking out page after page each and every day. Something about the process started to get to me on Thursday, though. I spent 3 damn hours on a page. I thought about the character and wondered if they would say that. I wonder if my words were too basic for the scene and didn’t reflect who the sub-character was. Then I started to wonder what the fuck my editor did to my manuscript. I wondered if he did enough work or would I need another editor to look at it. Perhaps I needed to stop editing and give it to another editor. I needed and wanted them to spice up the writing even more. I’m sure my blood pressure was rising and I just needed to talk to someone who went through the very same thing. I told my wife when I got home that I needed another set of eyes on it. I needed another edit. Then she looked at me and told me that I needed to look at my own writing and make the decisions to mold it more into my eyes. She continued on by telling me that I didn’t need an editor right now, I needed to be the editor of my work because the writing is in fact my words and story. I stopped for a minute. Questioned her logic. And tried to trust her words and opened up my manuscript and started reading from the beginning of what I’ve already edited and felt like a child, who only played outside for fun and enjoyment, fall in love with imagining a new world through reading. I laughed at some scenes, I wanted to know more about what was going to happen next and I knew that what she was saying was true.
A Little Secret About Editing
Editing still sucks ass. It just does. Reading, re-reading, editing, going back and seeing if it makes sense, looking through the thesaurus and googling everything in sight to see if the transitions make sense is exhausting and at the end of the day you look up and see that you have only finished one page is so damn depressing. I almost feel, with my limited editing experience, if I need to edit what I’m writing right now. But it is needed. It is a process that will teach you about yourself, writing and the language of communicating a story to another person. It is where, words will come together and every piece of the puzzle will make the words look like they are dancing and in harmony because everything went together because it was supposed to.
I’m sure still, once the process is done. I will have more questions than answers. But I know for sure that I will feel more confident with the focus and message and true bliss of the art of making something okay great and enjoyable to not only me, but to others—even if all they do is only read a couple of words of the first page.