NVDT – Writerly Concerns – *&%$ing Editing

Yes indeed. I made a resolution with myself in 2021 to compile and edit all my WordPress nonsense that resembled writing. That is, not the posts about writing or any other fluff, but the things that resemble writing. I even paid for a meagre bit of BlogBooker which makes it infinitely easier (to me) to drag chunks off of a Word file and into Scrivener for assembly than scrolling through pages of a blog.

Well, 2021 went *poof*, 2022 “came and went”, and I hadn’t made shit for headway except to get some of Bobby B into a file there sometime back. Which was when I discovered I’d written the second one without finishing the first. One of the beautiful things about Scrivener, particularly if you name the chapters, is how the holes become blatantly obvious. I wrote some stuff to fill out Number One, don’t think I ever completely got there. You know, those kinds of Awww Fuck moments are a real wet blanket on the momentum fire. Then I got distracted by hernia surgery, and back in summer by part-time all-the-time grampa duty and spent what little time I could cobble together writing away on mobile devices for the characters who keep showing up with their C’mon Already pitches.

Here it is 2023, and not long ago, at least in recent memory, I bought enough BlogBooker (it’s inexpensive) to download another year and a half’s worth. I reloaded and upgraded a hand-me-down laptop from the Professor and leave it at the grandkids. They are self-sufficient and I am left to my Kindle, a real book or the Dreaded Editing. With a lot of help from their three-year-old German Shepherd, one of the few creatures on the planet who thinks I’m fun.

None of my junk was near good enough to buy an ISBN for, regardless of the Hell Everybody Does It mentality. Still, why bother? The stories were out of my system, next. I had no delusional dreams of hitting the big time. See, I spent my working life in the creative for cash business as a side to and part of Of Service to the Top End of the food chain in the music business. And I can tell you there is no rhyme or reason as to why or how someone “makes it.” Perseverance is bullshit, regardless of what JK Rowling says, because I have seen the exceptionally talented stay shunted into music director or teaching or sideman gigs (a riff in “Nocturnes”). And seen the equivalent of EL James (Fifty Shades of Grey) soar to the top. Short-lived, but what the hell. Shit and Shinlola are often short-lived. They flame out or the audience gets bored or the sophomore release tanks.

Where was I before I distracted myself? Oh yeah – personal resolution. Like with WordPress, I use certain things as artificial deadlines to Get Something Out and this time it’s personal. Finish This Shit or Quit. I resolved to clean up everything I had to the point of it not being embarrassing (aside from content and the Epic That Shall Never See Daylight) and be done with them. I mean, it’s not like I sit around eternally polishing turds. Like I said, Finished is Enough. But in truth, Done Ain’t Done Till It’s Done. So, I’ve been spending my time running a rag over the piles and committing them to compiled works. The interesting thing is the further back I go, the more work there is to do. I was shocked at a few things in the first Meyers, but it was novella short, and it cleaned up okay. This last thing about Bigfoot and catfish just had some holes, a few soliloquies that ran long and a few of those paragraphs where this sentence goes up here logic issues. Now they flow better. Instead of reading like they fell out as the character thought of them, which is probably true, but no one has shown up in my dreams to give me any grief about their parts getting a logic fix. In fact, The Fat Man’s Granddaughter and Murder in Sepia are done except for tweaking the compile format. Meyers is up to something in the background, the Pontotowok County crew has a short about fake churches and write offs and adverse possession covering a real estate development. Even Bobby B has a whole thing simmering on the stove. But they’re on hold. Because it’s Finish the Shit You Have time.

Editing is where the story gets what it deserves. It was a gift in the first place, and as such deserves the best we can give it, and an opportunity for an audience of more than one. But damn… I throw the jams and live off the evanescence of the moment. Editing, other than strapping a compressor across the Master Bus for glue and some delay and reverb here and there is a time-consuming Pain In the Ass.

Published by

Phil Huston


18 thoughts on “NVDT – Writerly Concerns – *&%$ing Editing”

  1. I’m intrigued by the idea of pulling all blog posts/comments together with minimal effort on my part. At first I used to make a Word document of every post because I’m OCD and I like everything hoarded in one place, but I gave up on that after a while. Part of me would like the PDF and then delete everything and start over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did something like that, cut and paste into Word, but most of the time it originated in Word, so I had two versions. Because once it was up I had to mess with it. I pulled a bunch off the web in ‘21 and then killed 4 years of my site up to where I archived. It’s cheap. Like $19 for three months and x amount of data normal people won’t come close to. You can give it a date range, say yes or no to comments and graphics, have an archive you can put in three places (ocd) and say adios to whatever you want gone on the web.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have actually printed out all 2069 of my posts for no good reason but “turd polishing” is an excellent term to describe my process. Ironically, beetleypete does have very good reason to save his fiction somewhere very accessible and is very casual about it! And lastly, for some reason posts like this one from you are very entertaining and enjoyable😎

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There was an occasion a while back where I took one of Pete’s all-in-one collection of a story, turned it into Word and PDF but his take was, “Nah.” If I had the web addresses of his compiled serial fiction I could do the same in probably half an hour. This morning it took me just over an hour to pull a 39,000 word novella’s chapters into Scrivener as chapters and go back through breaking it down into scenes inside the chapters. It takes longer to clean it up for compiling than anything else. Butt first, there is the requisite reading of the damn thing, paying attention to the red and blue and green squiggles, telling ProWritingAid to get off the inclusive suggestions and dialect hassles and “this is passive voice. Passive voice makes your writing weaker. Are you…” Fuck. That. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eat me, PWA. “You used two adverbs in 39,000 words. Are you certain…”🤦‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

        1. If none of us argued with Pro Writing Aid and its peers, then all of our output would be low fat mayonnaise. At least as it stands we are at least unique in our choice of argument.🤣

          Liked by 1 person

    2. You know, you could break those up into consumable chunks with vaguely similar subject matter and publish them as collections. I read a lot of Dave Barry in the porcelain library. If I didn’t feel like a short story or a chunk of lit I could catch a couple of Barry’s when I dropped the kids off at the pool and be on my way. Since he’s pretty much quit that gig and there are no Erma Bombeck’s out there anywhere you have a niche. I’ve considered the same with some of my short fiction. I call it Philosophy for the Shitter. Or Deep Thoughts For a Deuce…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Short humor column / blog aggregations would fill a niche. I’d call it “Stamper’s Daily Deuce – a collection of humorous, perfectly timed squat n’ go anectdotes”
          I’m in for 10% if you get rich!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Not long after I started blogging, a friend suggested I ‘save’ my blog posts to a document in case WordPress even shut down, or just delted old possts to save space on the server. I duly did that with around 70 posts, and now I don’t know where I stored the document, or even if I bothered to save it from my old PC.
    My blog has now reached a total of 5,525 posts, and 1,532 of those are fiction that might (or might not) be worth saving.
    So the real truth is it is never going to happen.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a simple way to pull your blog off to PDF or Word, with or without comments, with or without graphics for a very fair price. I recall pitching it to Beetley Pete a while back.


  4. You do more with a focus on “not making it” than the majority of people who are self-sworn to “make it” do. A big difference in work ethic – even as a hobby – between those who do it because they love it and those who only toil and hack away at it for the ego boost. You go.


  5. I guess they are rather like gifts.
    The trash I’ve spewed, at the time, all felt like silver dollars clicking in a stainless steel tray. Most have been revealed as nickel plated brass, but I don’t care. Pulling the handle and hearing that sound is about my only joy these days.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.