I’ll admit, I do like to look nice.
But there’s a limit to how far I will go.
The current “standard” of male-attractiveness aside, I know what I like to wear, what I’m comfortable in, and what I feel makes me look good. Sure, there are the days when I could care less what I look like. On those days it’ll be obvious; my hair will be unkempt, my beard wild, and my clothes will be well-worn and mismatched.
On days when I do care, I hope it’s just as obvious.
Not so with a manuscript.
Manuscripts need to sparkle.
By sparkle, I mean they are free of any obvious defect.
No spelling errors, grammatical errors, and the entire manuscript must adhere to the current edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.
It will seem odd that I care so much about the appearance of a manuscript and yet so little about my own. There is a reason for this…
I once saw a young man apply water to his elbows.
Granted, it was his water, and he’s free to apply it to his person in any way that he pleases. Yet, this is San Antonio. It’s hot. It’s humid. When you’re working outside, you want to stay hydrated which is why I’d handed him a water bottle in the first place.
He opened it as I had done, and took a sip. I didn’t sip mine. I chugged it because I was thirsty.
He instead poured a little into his hand and applied it to his elbow.
Then he did the same with the other elbow.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I got ashy elbows,” he said, “can’t let the ladies see that.”
I’ve never had that level of concern for my appearance.
Then again, I’ve never met a woman or a man who deemed it necessary to pay attention to the quality of one’s elbows.
True, when my wife and I were dating, I was of the mind that a baseball cap and a t-shirt would suffice. I was a poor college student, so fine threads were a rarity. There’s also the issue of controlling my hair. Even though I’m losing it, steadily, I have yet to determine what to do with it. What style really works for me?
To solve this issue in college, I just wore a baseball cap.
My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, informed me that my sense of style was monotonous.
She actually used the word “monotonous.”
And yet, despite my lack of style, we continued to date, transitioning to engagement, marriage, and now we have two beautiful children.
Not once was she concerned about my elbows.
If she had been, then I would have been better off leaving her out of my life.
Luckily, she is not that kind of person; the kind of person who is hypercritical of the smallest detail. Those kinds of people, for whatever reason, are looking for a mistake.
I’ll admit it; there are times when I’m in that mood, and I want to tear something apart because of a minor defect.
But I’ve been trained, as a certified ghostwriter running a professional ghostwriting service, to always look for the gold.
Besides, there are plenty of people out there looking for a reason to NOT like something. And when it comes to your manuscript, there are many things, both large and small, that can be easy targets.
That is why, in this one instance, I would advise you to take care of your ashy elbows; the ashy elbows of your manuscript.
When you’ve begun the editing process, and not before, take a hard look at your spelling, grammar, and formatting. The Chicago Manual of Style is the current standard of the publishing industry. If you’re not looking for traditional publishing, you should still keep this in mind when editing your manuscript.
Your manuscript, whether it’s going to a literary agent or a self-publishing service, needs to shine. So reread it ten, twenty, thirty times and check for any mistakes. Then send it through Grammarly. After that, give it an editor, a trained editor, to read over and double check. Even if you can’t afford one, find a friend who’s willing to read and give honest feedback.
Your manuscript, your story, is something you’ve been working on for quite some time. I understand that you want to remain authentic, and thus, leave your manuscript as original as possible. A good editor and proofreader will respect that and work with you.
A good ghostwriter will too.
Running a ghostwriting service, you can even call it a ghostwriting company, I want to keep it as close to the original as possible as well. And I have to balance that against keeping it readable, accessible, and engaging to the trade audience.
It’s not going to be easy, but why would I be doing this if it were easy?
When it comes to your appearance, don’t worry about your elbows.
When it comes to your manuscript, yes, please worry about your elbows!
And when you look for ghostwriter services, even if it’s not me, please make sure the ghostwriter is going to take care of your ashy elbows without destroying your manuscript. It’s a delicate process that involves trust. But if the ghost is not willing to let you have the final say with your manuscript, then don’t let them work on it.
They’ll focus too much on your ashy elbows.
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