Things I hate more than editing

In an effort to convince myself that there are worse things in the world than slogging my way through a 629 page manuscript, covering every singe sheet of paper with red biro, I decided to make a little list. After all, think of all the people out there who'd happily swap places so they could lounge about all day in their jammies, eating caviar and sipping the finest champagne*.

So list number one:
Things I Hate More Than Editing.

  1. Having my ankle re-broken.
  2. The smell in my dentist's waiting room -- sort of a combination of fear, sticky children, and armpits.
  3. Any film with Nicholas Cage in it.
  4. Coffee Cake. Seriously, coffee is the Devil's bum scratchings. Accept this fact, never buy the damn stuff again and move on.

Number two:
Things I Hate Just As Much As Editing.

  1. Painting my bathroom with paint that smells like Vick's Sinex, and goes on like araldite. Honestly, it's like trying to paint a room with the stuff that comes out of big, hairy bluebottles when you squish them. Only not all yellow. But just as sticky.
  2. Getting turpentine into the huge blister on my finger from repeated fighting with the paintbrush and the aforementioned sticky paint.
  3. In fact, anything involving DIY. I HATE DIY. In big capital letters, you acronymonious bastards.
  4. People who wear white socks with black trousers and black shoes. It's wrong, OK?

Number three:
Things That Are Much More Fun Than Editing.

  1. Cleaning up cat sick.
  2. Stubbing my toe on the edge of the desk.
  3. Having fillings done without anaesthetic. This may have something to do with having a dentist that thinks gums should resemble pincushions and the needle's not far enough in until you can feel it scraping bone. Plus you don't get that saggy mouth thing going on for hours afterwards.
  4. Taunting Claudia Schiffer with naked photos of Gloria Hunniford.
  5. 90% of things involving pickled onions.
  6. Making up lists to post on the internet.

I should point out, because I've been asked to by my editor, that my hatred for this edit is not HarperCollin's fault. Nor is it the fault of any of its employees, or those of its wholly, or partially owned subsidiaries. No, the problem is the bearded twit in the jammies.


I am my own worst enemy, and not for want of competition either.

The people who've read Book Number The Fourth** seem to like it as it is. Yes, there are a couple of minor tweaks needed, but other than that, it's OK. So how come I'm tearing every last bloody badger-buggering sentence apart? Word by sodding word! Aaaaaargh! At this rate the book's going to take twice as long to edit as it did to write. And it wasn't as if I was coasting through the first draft either -- I sweated every last ferret-festering syllable, thinking this would make the edit much smoother.


* Not that I do that -- I can't stand caviar, it does taste all of fish and looks like lumpy motor oil. This is not a good combination when it comes to culinary treats.
** Which may, or may not have a name now, depending on what day of the week it is, and which way the wind is blowing.

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