Adaptive Editing And Why It Works

I am a hardcore believer in a writer can write anytime, anywhere, on anything. When you want to make words, you find a way to make them. From the morning commute, to the fifteen minute breaks at call centers, to the generous lunch hour, to the twenty minutes before bed, and beyond. You can write on anything. From a notebook, to notecard, to post-it, to cocktail napkin, or even a voice recording on your phone, or a note to yourself in a smartphone app.

It all boils down to if your writing is important to you, you will find a way to do it.

As Ian Malcolm says in Jurassic Park:

Life, uh, finds a way.

I’ve been writing for nine years, I’ve only been getting paid for it for the last three of them. I saw it as honing my skills for when the time came to roll with the big dogs. Putting in the time, making deadlines, working every day as my own personal deadlines to say hey I can do it.

Back in 2012, in the throes of my last hurrah to escape academic prison, I discovered I had become a big ol’ hypocrite. The new college semester started begun, and I had classes on campus every Tuesday and Thursday. I had five days a week where I had been left to my own devices. I had said to myself when I registered: Think of all the time I’ll have to edit Glass Moon!

It didn’t turn out the way I had hoped back then. Due to my homework load, at best I could sit in my office from dawn until dusk and only work on Glass Moon one day a week. That’s not cool because I felt like when I had made progress, then went back to it a week later, I had forgotten where I was going, or I wasn’t in the same zone.

So, I was a hypocrite. I couldn’t write anytime, anywhere, on anything. I was failing at living the example!

It had hit me in the tiniest spark of an idea. It had been an unconscious reaction. My first class of Tuesdays and Thursdays back then was German I at 11 AM. I had to get up at 7:30, out the door by 8:30, to get there at 9 AM just to get a parking spot. I had a two whole hours where I was sitting in the hallway in front of my class with nothing to do.

Adaptive Editing: A How To By Lex ChaseSo, one day, without really even thinking about it, I had taken a printed, marked-up copy of only the current chapter I had worked on. I had my Moleskine that I only used (and still use!) for writing along with the required stuff for school such as textbooks and notebooks. I made it to my class, I sat down, and pulled out that chapter of Glass Moon.

I had balanced it on one leg, with my Moleskine on the other, and my iPod blaring the Tron: Legacy remix album by Daft Punk. And the best part?

I got to freaking work. For two hours. And it was bliss.

I had decided to call my new-to-me method “Adaptive Editing” because in this day and age people feel lost without a laptop, iPad, or some kind of device they think was required to “get work done.” I admit, back then I had felt a bit lost sometimes without my laptop in front of me.

But when you absolutely can’t have it, and you’re facing adversity:

You adapt.


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