This is probably the most hilarious post we’ll ever see on this page – and I’m keeping it PG on purpose so just… What can I say?
Is it ‘bare with me’ or ‘bear with me’?
“bare” = not clothed, simple, uncovered.
e.g. They bared their soul with me by talking about their childhood, and I appreciate it.
e.g. They got bare with me, and we went skinny dipping.
So if we were to say “bare with me”, just make really, really sure that you actually want something to be undressed or uncovered…
“to bear” = to be patient / to hold up under pressure / to hold on during adversity.
e.g. We’re asking you to bear with us while we make our decision.
e.g. I can’t bear the humiliation.
So if we were to say “bear with me”, we would be asking someone to be patient with us while we talk something through with them, take a while to find some information for them, ask them more questions, etc.
(C) TJ Withers-Ryan, 2022. Please credit me when you share or repost, thanks!
We’re only a few days into 2016 but I have found some AMAZING reads in my first days of 2016, which have also been my last few days of annual leave.
As a writer and editor, my “to read” list is too long for me to ever actually read, if it’s really true that you can only get through about 3,000 in the average lifetime. In my Google Docs “Books” folder, the list of all the books I’ve read in my life (only about 600 that I can remember so far) is far smaller than the list of books I would like to read (about 1 million). So I’ve told you how I chose the books I read last year, and I can definitely say I’m sticking with that strategy in 2016.
Today a tradesmen came to do the front door to replace the broken lock on our door. That’s right, burglars, don’t even bother trying. We’re Fort Knox, baby.
But he came to the door and my brain immediately thought, Aaaargh I forgot you were coming today. The place is a mess and I haven’t even vacuumed yet.
He was there less than half an hour to do the job and we’ll never see him again, and why would he even care what our place looks like? Gosh, what a waste of mental energy it was to stress about it.
It led me to wonder, if I’m letting my poor brain stress out this much – even momentarily – over what a total stranger thinks of me in a non-creative situation, how much am I stressing my brain out about what readers are going to think about what I write?
Have I been writing a terrible novel because I’m worried that readers aren’t going to get it?
I wrote this email to a client last month and they said it had to be shared, so here is an edited version of that note. I hope it encourages you as it did them.
Image source: Tamika Christy
Dear doubting writer,
No worries, don’t stress. Panic is a normal part of the writing (and a vital part of the editing) process; no doubt you know that already.
I wouldn’t have quoted on your book if I didn’t see in it the potential to be a truly worthy book. I’m not saying the book is perfect; that’s why editing is a good idea. But you’ve already got my vote of confidence.
There’s no one with a gun to your head to get this book out ASAP. No matter when it arrives, people will be thrilled ecstatically to read it.
But you know what, even if you look at your book and think “eh, it’s still not perfect”, I was reading another book today and came across this quote:
“the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best”
– Henry van Dyke
Image source: ‘English girl riding bike’ from Riding Pretty blog
My first post for 2015 is bike-themed, because Tim and I went for a bike ride this morning to kick off the new year. No need to peddle old ideas when you can pedal into the future!
There are always endless possibilities for New Year’s Resolutions. Finish your novel. Lose weight. Find The One. Change jobs. Get to Mordor and drop the ring in Mount Doom. The usual.
As Dave Beck, NaNoWriMo Technical Director, puts it: “In the end, isn’t everything—from relationships to careers to geopolitics—about the narratives we choose? The narratives we write?”
So here’s what my resolutions are all about:
Write a good story with your life. A true hero need only be a person who sets goals and overcomes conflict to achieve them.
(paraphrasing Donald Miller in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)
Image source: Our wedding photos by Kyle and Elissa Johnson, Slade Portraits
Last year I wrote my story as well as I could. I had goals, and I overcame obstacles to achieve them. After the usual stresses of preparation, I married the right man for me and enjoyed decorated our new home with the artworks I made with my own hands. I left a job I didn’t enjoy and worked hard at building my editing business so I could continue to do the editing work that I love. I made time to do some of the adventures I enjoy like bushwalking and beach trips, both with friends and by myself for much-needed and much-appreciated “God dates”. Halfway through the year life got really difficult for a time as I found I had some severe struggles to work through, so I asked for help when I needed it and I trusted God to get me through. I began submitting one novel to publishers, entered as many short story competitions as I could, and completed NaNoWriMo again. And I showered as much love as I could on the people I care about.
So here are the few things that I felt went into writing a good story with my life in 2014, and what I’ll be trying to seek out again in 2015.
Me and Tim holding hands at the altar. Image source: Sarah Killey Photography
“In the end, what makes a book valuable is not the paper it’s printed on, but the thousands of hours of work by dozens of people who are dedicated to creating the best possible reading experience for you.”
― John Green
At the publishing house where I used to work, we had one author who simply would not listen to the advice of his editors.
Ultimately, the final say in how a book is edited is up to the author. It’s their copyright; it’s their book. But the publishing house always has the option of terminating the contract if the author refuses to make required changes.
Our editors recommended very strongly that this author edit out his “purple prose”. This guy was in love with adjectives. It was a common problem in all of his previous books, too.
When this author’s book was finally published, it got reviewed in the Courier-Mail (one of Australia’s larger newspapers). Guess what. The reviewer picked up on the purple prose, too. They nailed the book, and it didn’t sell well – big surprise.
We talked to the author about it but he was convinced that it was a coincidence that everyone had picked up on the same issue and made such a big deal about it.
This is why listening to your editor is so important.
How to edit truly bad stories Image source: Fonts and Fiction Blogspot
This post is a long one, sorry, but stick with it! I really believe this is something we need to make time for.
Recently, I was looking for inspiration for a part of my novel where one character interrupts a battle to give a passionate speech that marks the beginning of the road to peace. One of the first results when you Google “speech about peace and war” is Martin Luther King Jr.’s little-remembered 1967 speech opposing American involvement in the Vietnam War, ‘A Time to Break Silence’.
I had no idea that reading this speech would change the topic that I would blog on today.
“A time comes when silence is betrayal. In Vietnam, that time has come for us.” – Martin Luther King Jr., ‘A Time to Break Silence’, 1967
Many of you, upon reading the title of this post, assumed that I’m talking simply about my profession of editing. “I say there are bad stories being written out there, and we gonna git ‘em fixed!”
I wish I was.
In the world today, as there has been every year since the dawn of man, there are bad stories being written. By governments and individuals. By my government in Australia. By individuals who I know who think that the government is doing the right thing.
And I need to talk about it. I need to tell you about it. I need to talk about why we are writing a “bad” story and how we can edit it so that we aren’t ashamed of what we have written.
“I cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but I know which of them deserve to be followed. And looking back through my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.” – George Orwell, ‘Why I Write’ Essay