The Bitter Power of Editing

My life goals.

My life goals. (I would credit the author, but I don’t know Unkown’s last name.)

I was talking to my writer’s group the other day and told them I could not make it to the group this week because I was too lazy and wanted to sleep in on Saturday. They totally would have believed me if I actually did say that, but unfortunately, that isn’t what I really told them. Actually, we have a garage sale planned, which means it will probably rain many bitter tears upon the earth, because that is what happens when you plan an activity outside in Seattle. When you have nothing planned or if you are at work all day, that is when the sun comes out fast and furious. Because apparently the sun has a huge vendetta against Seattle.

It all happened many years ago, when the founder of Seattle cursed the skies….okay I’m getting off topic. So I told my group that I would be doing a garage sale, so essentially I WOULD be doing some editing, but instead of words I would be editing the junk out of our house. Only in this case, someone would be taking all the edited junk and moving it  to their house to start their own trainwreck of a novel, I mean reusing the junk.

So, I thought, what else in life could use a little editing(besides this post)?


Ready for some editing? 

How about that meeting you just attended? I’m a huge advocate of not going to meetings, so when I surprisingly got invited to a random meeting with a bigwig at my office that I hardly ever interact with, I was kind of shocked. I tried to get out of it, by emailing my manager and asking if I should really go, because shouldn’t I be doing just about anything else? But, she sabotaged me and told me to happily accept the request. And I’m so glad I did because I got to sit there for and hour and a half (originally scheduled for an hour) going over reasons why we should NOT go forward with a program that we are going to go through with anyways. If only I had my Imovie so I could have edited the hour and 15 minutes that weren’t needed….

The best way to edit conversations.

The best way to edit conversations.

Conversations are something I think should be edited too. There’s a reason why conversations work well in movies. Because they are usually well scripted out, and done with people who are experts at talking, but most of all, because they are edited. They get to take out all the awkward pauses and the mundane moments. In real life you are stuck talking about your day with the same people for 15 years. The same people that irritate and annoy you. The same people you have to go to meetings with. If you could just do a little editing of your conversations, you wouldn’t be near as bitter about people.

Like the kind of dream that happens when you are asleep.

Like the kind of dream that happens when you are asleep.

You know what could really use some editing? The work week. After years of experience with work weeks, it has come to my attention that there are hours and even days that could use a little shavey shaverson from the work week. Monday mornings are useless. No one is ready in any capacity to do anything at all productive on Monday mornings. It might appear that people are working, but all they are doing is trying to wake up. Caffeine, energy drinks, jumping jacks(just kidding) are being done in order to punch some usefulness into brain cells. I would be willing to bet that nickel I just found that the first hour of Monday is spent deleting junk mail from your inbox.  And Friday afternoons? Might as well, just consider Friday afternoon as a part of the weekend, because no one is doing product work then. Just use a delete key for Friday afternoon, because whether you like it or not, people have stopped working by then. And let’s just eliminate Tuesdays from the schedule altogether(because that is the worst part of the movie, I mean work week).

And how about the most annoying thing ever? Having to take a sick day from work when you are actually sick. Sick days are for going all Ferris Bueller for a day. Joining a parade, going to a Cubs game, wrecking your best friends Dad’s vintage Porsche. Not for coughing, sneezing, wheezing and huffing. Not for the nauseous, head splitting, pulse pounding sickness. Photoshop out those annoying little germs so we use our sick time for what it was meant for. When we run out of vacation. Or a second vacation after the vacation. Being actually sick is the worst reason to use a sick day.

So, what are the things in life that you need a little edit button for? A little Photoshopping for? What is a thing that needs a little tweaking(besides all the editing needed on this and all of my posts)? Let me know your bitter thoughts in the comments.


Bitter Editing Mistakes Ben


56 thoughts on “The Bitter Power of Editing

  1. At the risk of disappointing you, Ben, I really like this post – one of your best in a stiff competition! At present I would like to edit the Referendum debate in the UK which has grown interminable and it has over a week to go … maybe you feel the same about the Presidential race (long-distance!) over there?


  2. Aww, I wanna be part of a writers’ group too! They have them in Sacramento, but I’m stuck outside outside of it in the burbs… at least until we move this summer.

    I think it’s a good idea because writing can be so isolating.

    Also, totally with you on the edited work week thing. Scandinavia recently shave off some hours and found productiveness went up. People seemed to spend less time pretending to be busy, which you know we do here all the time.


    • I think people just worry that if we started letting people only work 4 days a week, we would quickly want to move it to three, etc. I think most people would be happy doing 4 and productivity would increase, it’s been proven right?
      And yeah, I was pretty lucky to happen into my group. They are pretty cool and only kill my self esteem occasionally (it’s their job). Maybe you can find a writer’s group in your new place?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you’re right. People are used to whatever they’re used to, but we worked 12 hour days at one point and eventually moved away from that…

        Here’s an article on boosted productivity:

        I guess Sweden has been moving to a six hour day and everyone’s much happier.

        They do have groups in Sacramento! We’re just in the burbs out here. They only have baking parties and such. But we’ll be moving back and I can assemble some writing buddies too 🙂


        • Well, if I had anything at all to do with it, it would be a 4 day week, maybe three and a half. And 6 hour days? I’m down with that too.

          Well, why haven’t groups moved to the burbs? I’m almost a suburb of a suburb here and somehow we still have enough. Maybe we should invent an app that can help you find writer’s groups nearby.

          Liked by 1 person

        • That would be a great idea if we weren’t about to move…

          But I’m totally on board your 3-4 day work week idea. In fact, I’m ready to elect you president.

          Can’t be worse than our current options, lol


        • It’s funny that you mention moving because we are moving later in the summer. And I don’t know about you, but this is so much work. It definitely takes away from the many opportunities to lay on the couch and not much time for inventing apps. I guess I’ll have to hope to find some writer’s groups there.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Oh yeah, it’s a nightmare. We’re putting our house on the market in a couple of weeks and then putting in bids… Going from the suburbs back to city, which is a harder market, so we’re worried about selling and then not buying in time (contingency sales only go so far).

          And then you have to move all your stuff. Argh. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

          Good luck with your move. I hope it goes as smoothly as these things can.


        • We have a unique situation where we own the house outright because we inherited it. So we are hoping to get a good price and then buy a better one in Utah, cause prices are less there. But there are issues with the house so people are balking. We’ve had a few people do walkthroughs, but no offers yet.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Exactly! Whether it’s a buyers’ or a sellers’ market, it all balances out when you have to sell your house then buy one.

          At least it should in theory. Guess we’ll find out.


  3. Look, man, if there’s anything Ferris Bueller has taught us is that the most annoying thing ever is not using a sick day to be sick but to be friends with a guy who has to use his sick day to be sick. Cameron may have sat in bed and sung a fake Hebrew dirge over a cold, but Ferris had to wait on his sorry keester. #ditchtheinvalidfriends


  4. Damn, if I could edit that sex life, well, I think I could have a lot of fun with that. More seriously, if I could edit other’s diseases and tweak them so they’re not in pain, and live normal lives without staring down death. Also, if I may (and I know my greediness is on display, but this is fantasy), if I can start writing decades earlier and be a better writer, that would be the dog’s meow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ll edit this if I go on too long. I’d edit the seasons and just go with Spring and Summer, real ones, not the imagined summer we have here in Ireland.
    I’d edit my husbands driving licence to put in a note that I am actually a supremely more accomplished driver than he.
    I’d edit my daily calorie count to allow a lot more cream and chocolate brownies.
    I’ll leave it at that, but in my mind I’ll edit all day, everything except the short story I should be editing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I would edit my sleep, by adding in a few more z’s. I would edit my dinner by including more cheese-based dishes, and less stewed tomatoes. And I would edit my weight by making pounds equal the same as kilograms.


  7. Something that many people disagree with me on is my opinion that the only (maybe) thing that DOESN’T need editing is alcohol. My friends don’t let me make drinks for them because in my world, an ounce is more like 5 and mixers/chasers are best used sparingly. The day after could use some editing but I think everyone should be a little more laissez-faire (sp?) edit-wise on their (or at least on my) alcohol consumption.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great point about editing the work week, Ben. They even tried bribing us with donuts on Mondays along with Mountain Dew IVs. We were still able to dilly-dally our way to lunch without any signs of productivity. And Friday afternoon? Why even bother to come back from lunch?


  9. I want an edit key for my bank account, with the ability to add zeros on the right, just on the left side of the decimal. They’ll let me add zeros on the right side of the decimal, but damned if they won’t let me move the decimal toward the right. I swear they’re letting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump do that to their poll figures AND letting Donald do it to his bank accounts. For some reason it doesn’t matter if they’re both zeros, the press is telling us they’re both winning. And I agree with you about the sick days. These things are not fair. ~DM


  10. I fully believe that being sick and tired is a legit reason to call in sick.
    And if I tried to have a yard/garage sale at this point, all of my merchandise would either melt or spontaneously erupt into flames. No good.


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