A strange thing happens when you write books. You develop an internal editor that won't sleep. Everything you read, listen to, or see is subject to this inner critic. And I do mean everything. Radio commercials, books, movie scrips, your children's grammar, this blog. If any of you are writers I know you are dissecting this right now because I am, too.
This morning my six-year-old told me she was gooder than she used to be. Instead of being happy with her about this achievement my brain went right to editing mode and, "Gooder isn't a word," slipped from my lips before I consciously thought about it. So I guess I shouldn't get upset when my cat does the same thing to my manuscripts.
Now I know that any readers out there are raising their right eyebrows in disbelief. How can a cat edit manuscripts, you ask? They don't read. I know these thoughts are in your brains, because they were in mine. This is how it was . . .
I was sitting in my writing chair editing my manuscript. When I finished a page I laid it on the ground next to me and moved on to the next one. My cat, the same one who tried to bury the soy milk offering I gave him like so much poop, (see my first post for the full story) came and sat in front of my pages.
He stared at them for several long minutes. I stared at him. Have you ever seen a cat "reading" a book before? If you haven't, you should. It was funny. At least until he stood, flashed me an irritated look, and promptly tried to bury my pages.
My mouth fell open, and I grabbed my precious book. After frowning at my cat and turning my back on him, I returned to my editing only to realize he was right. The pages were rank. Like poop. I rewrote the whole chapter. The only problem is I don't have the nerve to show the new pages to my cat. He's a tough critic.