Life, Edited

This was the blog I was typing a week ago when I got the call from the ambulance. It’s sad to come back to it, but mom was really excited. I am glad she had something to be proud of me about, and that we had experienced together the restoration of our family and united in the successes of each other.

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They recently updated my bio, mostly just moving paragraphs around to put all the nerdy stuff first, but you can check out the update on the “About Emily” page HERE if you think it might be that interesting.

Part of the update included taking down the extra pages about our wedding, since now we are just old boring married folk. Heh. That’s what they think.

The good news is that there is a brand new tab at the top of my blog, listing all the recently published writings (CLICK HERE) for easy access. I was getting lots of requests for the article links, so maybe this will help. If the current excitement continues, and my editors let me keep writing, they might add a topic page, too. But we will see. You can also find them under the “Writing” category.

It has been a fascinating experience working with these editors.

When I write on my blog, I write for the practice of writing.  I write to express what is within me.  I write to testify of truths I discover, and to document the process of wrestling with angels to find such gems.  This blog is my Indiana-Jones map of Emily world, my evidence of pursuing happiness by enduring darkness.  My writing here are like postcards, I have always said, where I share the places I have recently been but have already moved on by the time you read them.  Not moved on as in without that space, but moved on as in beyond that time and place.  Not leaving it behind me, but having taken it with me through the transformations it has brought me.

It is me, a moment ago.

But the actual writing is a practice just to keep words flowing, and I enjoy it because I can use hyphens and make up words (especially when it drives my mom crazy) and create paragraphs full of one long sentence.

It is my canvas, and I can play with the colors.

But when you are writing something for realz, and have editors who read what you write, it is a different kind of work.  Not harder, not bad, not worse.  Just different.  They have a venue that demands a specific tone and voice, and they have an audience for which your material must be presentable.  They require nouns and verbs in the same sentence, and are not fond of italics.  Some of the things I am writing are for websites that also are published in more than a hundred languages, so what I send them has to be at a certain elementary school grade level for quick translation.

It’s hard work!

I am loving every minute of it.

The real editors, the good ones, throw me back into the pit of my words.   It really is a wrestling, a refinement of both creation and process.  Each experience makes me a better writing, and each effort is improved upon the last.  It is hard, nasty work, and I splash around and argue with my Self and grieve the words I must release and resent the ones that must replace them.  I am shamed by silly errors, and embarrassed by rules I didn’t know, and thrilled when something finally works.

It’s an emotional roller coaster of the very mental sort.  That’s new to me.  When my words are connected to emotions, usually it is me driving them, releasing them, choosing them, following the path laid for me by my own Self.  But with editors, someone else has laid the tracks, and you don’t always know what is going to work and what isn’t.

But the good editors pull good work out of me, and it has been the most delightful experience I have had since grad school.  It uses my brain, and challenges me in new ways.  It humbles me.  It makes me a better writer than I was yesterday.

I am grateful to them, and glad of this experience.

It is growing me in ways I cannot yet see, but I can feel life happening the way I can see a tiny bit of green before my garden seeds burst through the soil as tiny plants.  I am as excited as I am in that springtime, even though I know it means weeding everyday.

That’s why I write, because weeding the garden is the only way to get fed.

It’s the hard work, the hard things, that bring true nourishment and real life.

It’s the winter that makes sunshine warm, and it’s rain that makes the grass green.

And it’s a whip-cracking editor that makes a real writer.

Posted in ** Writing permalink

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Comments

Life, Edited — 1 Comment

  1. Editing is good difficult work, so much like life. Love this phrase: “pursuing happiness by enduring darkness.”