How I Edit
Back in 2010, when I first started The Story Scribe, my memoir-writing business, I asked a man to sit down with me and tell me his life story. We met for a total of fifteen interviews over the course of many months. He was happy to just talk, but my goal was to shape his words into a life story book—my first. I wanted the practice. I needed the practice. Or so I thought.
Turns out I needed something else even more: the realization that if I didn't get my act together and create a functioning system, I'd never get his book or any other written.
Every week, we met at the same (noisy) coffeeshop, and every week I went home feeling worse than the week before. The words were building up, on my recorder, in the transcripts I was doing myself, behind files scattered across the desktop of my Mac. I felt like I was drowning in his words.
At some point, I gave up. He didn't mind. The act of telling was what interested him. But I did. I had disappointed myself.
I never got the book done, but I did create a system so that would never happen again.
If you've got a great system that's working for you, this episode isn't for you. But if you're interested in how one life story writer (errr, that'd be me) gathers together a series of transcripts and turns them into a book, here's a peek.
(By the way, if you DO have a great system, please share some tips in the comments. The only reason I can do what I do is because of all the help I've gotten along the way. And I'm sure I'm not alone.)
Have a listen. Or, if you'd like to see my computer screen as I walk you through my process, you can watch the video here.
Until next time, go out and save someone's story.