May 25, 2017
It addresses structure, adjusts arrangement, eliminates minutiae, and exposes missing content. Beyond those four facets, it operates on a seemingly unending loop that affects style, readability, and ultimately the reader.
For me, that fourth facet (exposing missing content) is a challenging process. It’s akin to encountering a defensive dog or swimming in murky water where carnivorous reptiles lurk. You might get to where you want to go but it’s going to take determination and a lot of talking to yourself.
Editing has revealed a considerable amount of material that I didn’t realize was important.
Many of the hardships I experienced occurred so often or at such a pace that they became common to me. Consciously (or unconsciously) I forgot these moments or didn’t process them in a healthy manner. My memories became jumbled and entire seasons failed to register in my ledger.
Time and distance enabled me to bear the weight of these events but accounting the changes they effected inside of me and recognizing how they altered my outlook and patterned my decision making process causes much regret.
Over these forty five years, out of deeply rooted fear and anger, I chose to do a few things and to not do a lot of things. More often than not, I’ve gotten out of the boat when I should have sailed. I consistently went one direction where a sensible person took the other way. I ran when I should have walked. I’ve taken when I should have given and I’ve given things I should have kept.
Unpackaging this material hurts. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t shed tears while writing about things that happened twenty five years ago. Many times, I’ve asked myself, "Why do this?" "Why stick my hand to the bottom of the pool and stir up the muck?"
Why? Well, it’s what I’ve needed to do for a long time and I believe it’s just the right time.
I’ve got a wonderful group of editors and they are right about these things. These are the moments that must be relayed. Frankly, this is the content that makes you want to read my story. And it’s the polishing of these gems that is extending the publication date to early next year.
I know this is disappointing to some of you - it is to me - but I believe we will be better by it.
Rest assured. I am still with you, tapping on my keypad, each morning between 3:15 AM and work call, on every highlighted section, marked line of copy, and blank space between “What happened here?” and “Why did you do this?”
Thank you for your patience and support.
God bless the editors. (They will read this.)
Sharek Amalek Gadd