I is for Iron, R is for Revisions-Nary the two shall meet?

- by Kim Watters

I hate to iron. Let me count the ways. Pants, shirts, dresses, skirts, underwear…. Underwear? Yes, I’ve heard people iron their underwear. Don’t worry, I’m not one of them. I know, TMI, but how many writers do you know that haven’t exposed a piece of themselves for the betterment of a story? So this morning, with a lack of any pressed work clothes, I had to drag out the monster iron that always seems to do more damage than making clothes any more presentable, if I wanted to wear something that didn’t look like I slept in it all night. The boss has a problem with that. No kidding?

Did I mention I hate to iron? I must have been a laundress in a former life. So once I cleared off the hideous ironing board that contained every wrinkled pair of work pants and tops I own—I’m still waiting for someone to create fashionable clothing that never wrinkles no matter how long it’s left in the dryer—I got down the dirty task of ironing.

I really, really, really hate to iron. Can I possibly say that enough?

Okay, the first pair of pants is on the board. I get the squirt bottle out because I’ve discovered it’s easier to get the deep wrinkles out while the pants are wet. Too bad this tactic doesn’t work on the face. I’m grouchily pressing away on the first leg. Top side done. Yes. Flip over. Drat. Several deep creases down the back. Grab water bottle. Wet clothes. Press the living daylights out of back side of leg. Flip over. ACK! More creases on front side. There is now more steam coming out of my ears than the pants. I really hate to iron.

Which brings me to revisions. Very few writers I know can spout out a virtually clean, coherent manuscript the first time around. So what does that mean? Revisions. Revisions remind me of ironing—although I actually like to revise. You smooth out a wrinkle here, and create another wrinkle somewhere else. You change something in one scene; you need to make sure you’ve made the corresponding changes in the rest of the manuscript. No one said it would be easy. Eventually though, you will have creaseless pants and a well polished manuscript.

I tend to agonize over certain things, and it takes me a lot longer to make sure the final product is ready to go out the door. So in the time it would take a normal person to go through the entire pile, I’ve successfully pressed one pair of pants—if you don’t look too closely—and a shirt. Now is not the time to discuss the fact that I spilled coffee on my brand spanking new ironed pants today that will now have to meet Mr. Washer and Mr. Iron instead of Mrs. Hanger before they grace my feminine curves again. I really hate to iron, but throw all the revisions you want my way. Because in the end, when I sell that manuscript, I’ll be able to pay someone to iron for me!

9 comments

  1. I don’t hate ironing, I hate mopping floors!

  2. Wanna trade Estella? Give me a mop any day. Of course, I haven’t seen the size of your house, but you haven’t seen the size of my ironing pile. :) Have a great afternoon.

  3. I don’t hate ironing, but I get frustrated when I can’t get the creases right on my slacks and shirts.

  4. :) Jane.

  5. Good post, I like your writing style! I’ve added http://ninc.com/blog/ to my feed reader, and will be reading your posts from now on. Just a quick question – did you design your header image yourself, or have it done professionally? If you had it done by a professional, who was it?

  6. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, John. :) I don’t know who did the header image for our blog but I’ll forward the question to our blog mistress. Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. John – The blog header along with the look of Ninc’s website at http://ninc.com was created by Tammy Seidick of Tammy Seidick Design, http://www.tammyseidickdesign.com/ .

    –Pati (website co-chair)

  8. I can write an entire book in two days, my four readers take a month, my two editors go over the manuscript four times each, the publisher takes four to six weeks on the cover, the format-er another several weeks before I look at it and three submissions later, it goes to the next step. Now, my iron is cool and nothing will get those wrinkles out. I have been turning out these books since 1979 and they are getting worse as I go and I think that might be an improvement. If you ant to see how bad they are, google Secrets of Paradise and A Beckoning From Paradise and if they have the same author, that’s me. Well, thanks for letting me tell my woes, I will fold my ironing board and go back to writing.

  9. Thanks Pati. Thanks Dr. Paradise. Wow. It takes me two days to get through the pile of laundry, much less a whole book. Have a great Thanksgiving all.