Various Musings on Self Adjudication

There’s a good movie with Jack Nicholson as a book editor. I like his set up, work at ten am with the manuscript neatly parsed on his big oak desk. He picks up a red pen and begins to paint. I think he was a vampire or something—in the movie.

Personally, I think the editor’s role is to expose the writer’s intended message. The writer hides behind words. The editor deletes the baggage to provide clarity on behalf of the reader. The editor shouldn’t modify the message, only put it up on a pedestal.

However, any editor only knows what they like, so a variety of proofers is a good plan. More perspectives the better, as long as the writer reserves the right to tell them to blow off. The writer might be on to a new thing that the editor can’t see.


Various Musings on Self Adjudication


1. I try to have ten projects on the go at once. This way I must rush to complete each and each is running on instinct, the guts without unnecessary peel.

2. This headlong life challenge, my ‘Picasso’ style of living, forces binocular vision—one eyeball on the bark, one on the forest. I get the fung shei, the ergonomics of design and balance. I know how Guy Ritchie spins his scripts vs the overload of David Cameron.

3. I recommend a week, or a year, where the pilgrim writer critique everything. Signs, colors, clothes, hair styles, cars, media, songs, images, news, nature—“I shall utter my two bits on everything.” Declare a fool a fool and a boaster a boaster. Declare what is lame, lame and the astounding awesome. Offer mental adjudication for one week. It’s not judgement. It’s declaring opinion. I know why I like something, and why I don’t. This a grounding exercise to build concrete imagery and finite linguistics. We speak what we are. A writer can have no laze, instead spinning and scrubbing ideas until they are a bucket of smooth tumbled stones.

4. Use intensive imagination-to-finger, direct electro-brain channeling to block out all thought except the unveiling cinema in your third eye. Do not hesitate to scramble and record as much as such pOps into your mind. Spew. This is your frantic voice. Edit later. Fragmented sentences are okay on the way to excelsior. Be the mental journalist, let thou spaketh thrightly, delivering the description your way. Dig for the words that extracted from the sinew of your idea, words you’ve never considered before. Words of divine inspiration.

5. But wait, there’s more… Then something happens, between creative stress and fulfillment of completion when suddenly, comma pause breath excited stop, I know which one sucks and which one is good. It’s the shiver in the bones. You’ll know it’s The One, when you have no need to share it. This is self satisfaction.

Until then, another quick trick is to re-read end to start and edit each sentence/paragraph backwards. This eliminates sentiment and increases objectivity. It’s good for catching technical errors. The best trick is time. Put the piece away for a little while and re-read. See if the message and the delivery still stand.

Happy keystrokes,



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