In Search of Editor Goats; I Talk Too Much

Standard

If you stop by Congressional Cemetery here in DC in August (a great place to visit, btw), you may be in for a surprise.

Goats, people! Eco-goats to be precise.

Goats clearing Congressional Cemetery, with fans at the fence. Source: Rollcall.com

Goats clearing Congressional Cemetery, with fans at the fence. Source: Rollcall.com

They do a good job, too.

 

Goats at the cemetery. Source: WTOP.com

Goats at the cemetery. Source: WTOP.com

Every year, Congressional Cemetery hires a herd of goats to clear the weeds, poison ivy, and overgrowth. The critters will eat anything that isn’t supposed to be there, and do a decent job, too — no pesticides necessary. It is economical and environmentally friendly.

 

It is too bad there is no such thing as an editor-goat. I could use one.

Here’s what I mean:

I’m in the throes of the second chapter. I think it is going well, in terms of information available. But, I’ve come to the realization that, in my writing, I talk too much.

Details are fine and important, but I don’t want to drown the reader in the specifics only 10 pages into the chapter.

A colleague-writer has told me that the rough draft phase of a chapter is not the time to start editing. It is ineffective to write AND edit at the same time. I’ll drive myself crazy in the process, and then, the book will never get finished if I wind up at St. Elizabeth’s.

The thing is, as I ‘draft’ this book, I’m simply getting the content out and onto the page. It is as if my chapter is a kudzu-vine covered field. Editor goats would have a feast.

Will eat the poison ivy of writing -- adverbs and prepositional phrases -- at no cost. Source: Washingtonian.com

Will eat the poison ivy of writing — adverbs and prepositional phrases — at no cost. Source: Washingtonian.com

My colleague added: You can’t have editor goats without vines. Grow your verbal vines. Turn the goats loose later.


 

In the spirit of transparency, I must tell you I am sitting here with a huge icepack on my left cheek, full of antibiotics. Yesterday, I had emergency oral surgery. I’m in a good place today, but I’ve been off the grid for the past two and a half days. With a mouth full of cotton gauze and the buzzy euphoria of Tylenol #3, I haven’t done much writing.

Guess that’s another way solve the “I talk too much” problem. 🙂

I should be back to normal in another day or so, writing about the Wonderful World of Emmett Wilson.

 

Advertisements

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s