Commit, and the rest will follow

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

William Hutchinson Murray (1913-1996), from his book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951)

Editing the buddhist way

The way I see it, editing is a very “buddhist” activity – you’ve got to make your own ego very transparent and serve the author’s voice, not show off with your own skill. I think a good editor should be invisible, or at least make themselves as transparent as possible. You know something’s happened to the text but you can’t exactly pinpoint what. Sometimes I even have to look for what exactly it was I did to a text when a customer tells me I made it so much better. It’s very much in the details. But I guess that’s a personal thing – I think I’ve got a “minimalist” editing style, I will never bulldozer through a text.