Editing Sample

EDITING SAMPLE

 

Here’s a sample of substantive editing I did for a book that will be published next spring.  The manuscript went through several drafts, but this is an early version as well as the final copy.  I helped the author with the grammar, mechanics, and style, as well gave her comments that helped her focus on the overall meaning of what she was trying to say. 

 

 

ROUGH DRAFT, VERSION 1

 

         I once subscribed to this notion of enlightenment described above, except I was unfamiliar with the meaning of these concepts of transcendence of the ego, the ending of suffering, and going beyond the personal.[Remark 1]  It was because of Due to my own misinterpretation, lack of understanding, and nativity naivete of about these concepts, that I encountered difficulties in my own awakening process.  For example, at the age of 25, my early concept of enlightenment was to feel peace and compassion, to have no internal or external conflicts, to live without suffering, to feel a life-force energy pulsating through my body at all times and, of course, to have everything I desired.  In this quest for spiritual insight, the peaceful and compassionate persona that I sought came at the price of the repression of vital aspects of my personality.  I ignored internal conflictual feelings and thoughts.  By ignoring disregarding these such thoughts and emotions, I had actually missed the opportunities they presented in that would have bringing brought me into a present state of awareness.  Through my encounters of over the years with others who desire ing this goal of enlightenment, I believe that they also see enlightenment in this way. [Remark 2]  One can avoid a great deal of angst by challenging their one’s own constructs around what it means to be enlightened....

         Without  realizing recognizing it, I had constructed a definition of enlightenment that was born of my ego, gathered from bits and pieces of teachings from people who had undergone some form of transformation s or from teachers who purported themselves to be enlightened themselves.  This initial concept of enlightenment had set the bar of expectations too high for my own process of self-realization.  The idea of a perfected state of consciousness increased my struggle and kept me from obtaining a level of acceptance for my own journey and its natural unfolding, an unfolding that was unlike that of many of the enlightened teachers whose work I would encounter.[Remark 3] 

 

 

REMARKS, VERSION 1

 

1.  You say “this notion...described above,” but you’ve mentioned several different interpretations, so we can’t be sure which one you mean.

 

2.  It would be a good idea to make a clearer transition between this sentence and the last.

 

3.  Would you call them “self-proclaimed” enlightened teachers?

 

 

FINAL DRAFT

 

         I once subscribed to the notion of enlightenment as a state of consciousness that leads to the ending of suffering, more of an Eastern philosophical perspective.  Yet, I was unfamiliar with the meaning of these concepts of transcendence of the ego and the ending of suffering.  These Eastern notions were too abstract for my Western intellect to grasp.  Due to my own misinterpretation, lack of understanding, and naivete about these beliefs, I encountered difficulties in my own awakening process.  For example, when I was 25 years old, my early concept of enlightenment was to feel peace and compassion, to have no internal or external conflicts, to live without suffering, to feel a life-force energy pulsating through my body at all times, and, of course, to have everything I desired.  In this quest for spiritual insight and a perfected state of being in the world, the peaceful and compassionate persona that I sought came at the price of the repression of vital aspects of my personality.  It was as if being spiritual meant not having any anger, judgment, or fear, even though these feelings are valid emotions and important when one is on a spiritual path of discovery.  I ignored internal conflictual feelings and thoughts.  But by disregarding such thoughts and emotions, I actually missed the opportunities they presented that would have brought me into a present state of awareness. 

         Through my encounters over the years with others who desire this goal of transcendence, I believe that they also see enlightenment in this way.  The very act of attempting or desiring to obtain this perfected state of consciousness creates additional ego suffering and a state of self-criticalness toward one’s journey through life.  One can avoid a great deal of angst by challenging one’s own constructs around what it means to be enlightened.

         ....Without recognizing it, I had constructed a definition of enlightenment that was born of my ego, gathered from bits and pieces of teachings from people who had undergone some form of transformation or from teachers who purported to be enlightened themselves.

Leigh Westerfield, Ph.D. | 704.724.8263 | Leigh@writing-works.com

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