How an edited book is like some new jeans | Grammar Factory Publishing

How an edited book is like some new jeans

Disclaimer - This is not my butt. The photo's from Macy's.

Earlier this year my parents went to the US. And, because my mum is a bit of a clothes horse (and the prices are so much better over there), they went shopping. I benefitted. ;)

Unfortunately, my mum often forgets that I’m 1-2 sizes larger than her, and buys things that look great on her, but don’t do up on me. So, when she brought home some size 4 (US) jeans for me, I put them in my wardrobe, planning to revisit them after losing 5kg.

Then I saw the label – ‘curvy bootcut’. Curvy, you say? Curvy has possibilities. I can do curvy.

As soon as I smiled, my neuroses kicked in – they are too tight. Everyone will look at me. I don’t want people to look. I don’t want my butt to look cute.

Interestingly, I see something similar happen after a book’s been edited. A client sends me a jumble of words. I give it a structure and make it clear, concise and compelling. I focus on clearing away the clutter that gets in the way of their message and their voice.

Like some jeans showing off my posterior to its best advantage, editing shows off an entrepreneur’s knowledge, beliefs, personality, and more.

And this freaks some people out.

They think, “I don’t want to be this bare, this … on display.” “I don’t want it to be this direct.” “But now everyone will know exactly what I think!” “I don’t want this to sound so, so … like me.”

“I don’t want to be seen.”

I hate to break it to you, but you’re writing a book. You’re putting your knowledge, beliefs and personality down on paper to be printed and published. You’re establishing yourself as a leader in your field.

And leaders get seen.

Oprah gets noticed. Everyone looks when Richard Branson enters a room. The movement around Steve Jobs was almost messianistic.

If you’re committed to being a leader, you’re going to get seen for who you are and what you believe. And your book is a part of that. Not everyone is going to like it, and not everyone is going to agree, but those who do will become your most passionate advocates.

However, they can only do that if you’re prepared to step up and show yourself in your best light.

And for that, you need editing.