Some Monday mornings I have a blog ready and waiting. On other Mondays, I have nothing to post. Today is a Monday of the second kind. That, however, is not a bad thing. Currently I am writing a series of nature essays for a book. When Mondays come around and there is nothing to upload to my blog site, it usually means that progress on the book has been going so well that I did not have time to write a blog entry. In other words, I didn’t have to wordsmith a short blog as a way to jumpstart my bigger writing project.
Last week’s writing did go well. More accurately, last week’s editing went well. I finally have a complete final draft of the full manuscript, so now I am fine-tuning everything. When I write, I edit as I go (actually I over-edit as I go), but for the first time I can now rearrange anecdotes, throw out entire paragraphs, and reword sentences with a feel for the entire book. Stephen King once wrote that good writers have enough self-discipline to toss out some of their best prose when certain snippets do not fit the context of the story. By that measure, I was a very good writer these past few weeks. During recent editing, my book went from 69,000 words to just over 63,000. This needs to be the last time I am so freewheeling with the delete button. Any more similar edits and my book will become the non-fiction equivalent of a novella. That is OK, though. I value conciseness in writing, and my book is now noticeably tighter. I am almost done.*
* My deadline with Purdue University Press is October 25, and a release date is still nearly a year away. I will be writing more about my book of nature essays in future blogs, and I will probably revise my homepage as the book nears completion.