Sunday, November 1, 2009

Raking Leaves

One of the most beautiful parts of fall is the colorful leaves on the trees. The world seems to glow with their deep infusion of reds, golds, yellows, and oranges. They even look beautiful when they cover the ground, blanketing the earth with their vibrant quilt.

Eventually, of course, they need to be raked. I don't really mind this task. Bundling up against the slight chill in the air with the promise of hot apple cider afterwards is a cozy prospect. You don't really need to think about what you're doing, so your mind can wander and think and create. And it's one of those tasks that lets you really see what you've accomplished. Where leaves once covered the lawn, after an hour or so green grass is visible.

But then comes the morning. Overnight the trees have once again shed their colorful coats and leaves dot the ground. By the end of the next day, the grass is blanketed. Time to rake again. This process continues for several weeks. However in time, all of the leaves will have fallen and this task really will be done for the year. Then it's time to look forward to the joys of snow shoveling.

It struck me how raking leaves is much like editing. For me editing is a fun process, a time to really dive into what I've written and clean it up. A page once covered with mistakes and weak verbage becomes clean and strong, using just the right turn of phrase. Of course the next time I look at that very same perfectly written page, I find things I want to change again. And the process goes on. At some point all of the editing is finished, and I send it off to my editor with the delightful task of approving my galley. And then I get to look forward to creating a new story, with new characters and plots, which will some day circle around and be ready for the editing process once again.

I love the change of seasons and the tasks that go with them here in the Midwest, just as I love the tasks that occur is each and every step of the writing process. What a glorious world we live in.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great comparison!

I did marry a man with a leaf blower though, so I'm not a raker anymore. I wonder if he could help me with my editing :)