Will I ever stop editing my book?

After some brief vacations on the beach (some heavy burning and the realization that the beach may not be for me), I’ve started the second revision of my manuscript and realized that this one is also going to take me a while. I’ve started with chapter one and there were so many ways to improve it, I practically re-wrote the whole thing again, and I’m still not convinced. I’m planning to go over it again tonight.

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The positive point is that I believe my writing has improved and it’s getting better each time with more practice and reading. The bad is that I’m afraid I won’t ever stop editing; it seems that I’ll get improving and improving and I’ll never finish editing my manuscript.

Of course when I write, I tend to reach a point where I read my words and find them exciting and beautiful; but after leaving it for a while and coming back to it later, I still find that it’s not what I want it. Am I too perfectionist? That would freak me out. I’ve never been perfectionist in anything else, maybe it was because I’ve never found the necessary interest in other activities, but now is different, all interest and expectations are on board.

So, help, I need advice from people out there who write and sometimes stop to read my blog? When do you know you have to stop editing?

One tip if you want to improve your writing

I’ve just finished reading “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White; a classic most people recommended me in writers forums if I wanted to be a writer.

I must confess I felt ashamed when I saw the book had been available all this time in my office. When somebody mentioned that it was a tiny little book, I thought, Wait isn’t the one lying over there? If I had known earlier…

Anyway, I found it brilliant. The book went straight to the point. I can’t believe Mr. Strunk Jr. wrote it so long ago (1919 to be precise) and its contents are still applicable today. Of course, E.B. White updated it later, but still the foundations were already there.


This is the first “Style” book I actually read from start to end. I have consulted others, but only for specific topics. Now, I’m considering in going over this book again as soon as I enter into the third revision of my novel manuscript; just to make sure I remember all the words that I’m not supposed to use, the ones that are ambiguous, redundant, or just plain bad english. I felt good knowing that I’ve already eliminated most words from my writing, but at the same time, there were still many others in the book I was not aware of, or just some rules I had forgotten.

Like this style book, I still plan to review other books that people have advised me to read. I’m currently with “On Writing” by Stephen King (I’ll let you know my comments when I finish it). I feel like I am acquiring more knowledge and experience. I love the process.

When I started to write, I believed it was all about inspiration and great ideas. A little part is about that, but little. It is more is about hard work and perseverance.

And you, have you read any style/grammar book to improve your skills? I would like to know if you have any books you can recommend me.

Don’t let criticism of your personal life get you! Remember the good things…


Criticism is hard to take sometimes. Sometimes we wish we didn’t hear it and sometimes we want to know it. In our careers, we like to be told what we are doing wrong so we can improve, but do we really want to hear the “we are doing something wrong” part?, I´ll leave this for another future blog.  But there is also another type of criticism, the one related to our personal lives. Loners will hear phrases like these ones:

Why don’t you meet somebody? Why don’t you marry that somebody, have kids with that somebody and marry and live happily ever after?

Well, it won’t necessary be in these words or in such a direct way, but some people will find ways to make us the same questions maybe in a more subtle way (But let´s face it, no matter how subtle they want to be, we always get it what they meant!).

Criticism at our jobs or careers or whatever activity we do to receive criticism is different from the criticism we receive related to our personal lives and sometimes it gets us most because we receive them from close people (family and friends) (Although I met some people for five minutes and believe it or not they just popped out with those sort of questions, excuse me but mind their own business right?…)

But however we take this personal criticism, remember to take into consideration these points:

–          Who says that you have to follow a traditional pattern? Is there somewhere written that says that whatever the traditional society says is what you should do? Can anybody assure you that by doing what others do you will have happiness guaranteed?


–          Do you really have to follow society traditions? Do you really want to be like everybody or you´d rather be unique? Maybe your way of living is destined to be different. Whenever someone makes judgments about your personal life, just think to yourself: “well I´m unique and maybe I can make my life more exciting this way” I´m not against of finding a partner or a significant other, but remember, just be with somebody if you feel it and want it not because people pushed you into that or you wanted to “merge” to society in some way. Remember, better alone than in bad company.


–          Don’t ever question your own beliefs, society has formed certain preconceptions about how a person should develop his or her life, and every generation has done that. Many years ago society thought that women should only raise kids and stay at home, that was how society thought about how thinks should work at that time, do we still think the same? For the sake of goodness, I really hope that people out there don´t think like that anymore… But then if you see these changes in what society thought ages ago and nowadays, who guarantees that what our society thinks now is correct and is still going to work in the future? Maybe you are the future or you are ahead of your generation.

Personal criticism of your life can sometimes really get you, but don´t let it. Try to remember all these things and just push yourself into your own goals and in living your life the best you can. Don´t get stuck in trying to fit a certain “mold”, don´t let this criticism affect who you are or change you. If you are a loner, then be a Happy One!