Friday, November 7, 2008

What the Hecktomy

Sorry it has been a few days since I last posted. I relapsed and became sick again. It happened at the Obama rally (whooo! Go Obama!). I was standing in Grant Park in Chicago for 5 hours. When I got home, my legs felt like they were on fire. I figured it was due to muscle fatigue. The next morning my entire body felt like my joints had rusted, and my forehead felt like an oven. I went to the doctor who told me that basically anything that could be infected inside my head was infected (sans my eyes thank God). He gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. Did I mention this was on my birthday? Yeah. Yay me!

The doctor did mention one other thing. He recommended that I have my tonsils removed. Now getting those little buggers at the back of your throat removed when you're a kid? No problem. You heal in about four days, and you get to load up on all the Ben & Jerry's you want. Getting your tonsils removed as an adult? You bet your sweet ass you're going to be in for a world of pain. People have nearly died from getting their tonsils removed thanks to bleeding that can errupt suddenly and cause you to lose pints of blood in your sleep. And I live alone!

How does this little anecdote fit into the theme of this blog? Well, I think there's a good parallel between my potential tonsilectomy and self editing. Listen.

A tonsilectomy is painful because you are getting something chopped out of you that is literally part of you. Self editing is figuratively doing the same thing. Recovering from a tonsilectomy can be a slow and grueling process. Self editing is most often a slow and grueling process that makes you want to cry and bang your head against your desk at the same time. No amount of anesthesia can truly take the pain away that results from a tonsilectomy. There is no cure for the pain caused by self editing.

Self editing is an art. And you can bet this isn't going to be the only post I write about the topic. It's a big topic for me. As a technical writer, I self edit fairly casually before turning a project in. That's because my client typically gives the piece a first-pass edit themselves. Comedy writing, on the other hand, is much more frustrating. I don't have the luxury of having a comedy editor at my disposal so I bare the entire process of writing and editing on my shoulders. True, I can have fellow comedians look over my jokes and give me tips (which is a great thing to do mind you). But more often than not, I have to rely on myself to trust that what I write is good quality. Luckily I'm insanely hard on myself and am truly a perfectionist, so I'm only content with something when it's probably about 10 times better than it actually needs to be.

Anywho, I'm going to continue reading horror stories about tonsilectomies. If you have any experiene with tonsil removal or know someone who has, leave a comment. I'm really curious about other people's personal experiences.

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