editing encouragement

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Once again I'm finding myself in the midst of edits, and though this is obvious, I'm going to say it: editing is hard.

It's all too easy for me to look at that document of mine and think, "could this ever possibly get better? is there any hope in improvement?

There are doubts, insecurities, thoughts that say, "what if none of this is good? what if you can't make it better?

Once the edits start... will they ever end? It seems like edits are just a long, dark hallway, and the end is just a spark of a dream. 

Editing is long. It's mentally exhausting. It's physically exhausted, sitting hunched over in a chair all day with my face in a permanent frown and fingers cramping from all the typing (okay, so I might be embellishing a little bit here...).

Writing is hard. Editing is hard. The process of creating a story is a strenuous task. It's easy to start a book, but the difficult part is completing it and following through.

In the middle of edits (or even at the beginning), is often the time when it feels better to give up and do something easier.

Don't give up. Don't. 

I'm repeating that to myself, trying my best to follow that, and I hope you will, too.
"There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for."
- Samwise Gamgee

Replace the word world with story, and good old Sam is saying exactly what I want to scream to every writer out there -- Your story has potential. There is good in your story.

I understand that it's hard to believe that. When you're digging at your first draft, cluttered with typos and plot holes, it seems impossible to think that there's anything hopeful buried within the words.


But there's potential, because you created it. Think about what you did for a moment (or what you're currently doing): you crafted a novel. A story, an adventure, a journey that's close to your heart and meant enough to you to put on paper. Think of all the time you've spent over it -- it's your little baby novel. <3

There's going to be lots of work involved -- lots and lots and lots and lots and lots. But every other dedicated writer is going to go through the same struggle. You're not alone in this journey. That's the beauty of the writing world -- just shouting the word, "editing," will result in loads of virtual hugs and chocolate.

You can conquer this story. Tackle it with your sharpest pencil and the bloodiest (hello, evil writer Katie) of red pens. Don't be afraid to look for encouragement. It will be needed through the despair and the tough times. I'm here for you. The blogging and writing community is here for you.

I know I've said a lot about how horrible editing it is (for good reason, because it's haaard), but if you can, try to have some fun with revisions. You can hate the bad, but also take the time to love the good. Grow with your characters. Watch as you craft those paragraphs into a writing voice that flows beautifully and is uniquely you. 

Go after editing with confidence, because both you and your story have what it takes.

Conquer the thing.

<3,
katie grace

how goes the editing or writing for you, my frens?

77 comments :

  1. oh my GOODNESS KATIE I NEEDED THIS, beautiful post, I totally feel inspired now and oh my goodness you're so encouraging. <33

    We'll conquer editing together.

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    1. EEEP THANK YOU SO MUCH, HANNAH.

      we got this. we will absolutely SLAY this editing beast. <3

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  2. This was so awesome, and I'm not even in the editing stage yet. XD I have yet to finish a full length novel, but I'm determined to this year. That means editing is in my future... BLEAH.
    Anyway, this was super encouraging just for me who is in the first draft stage! Thinking about the good in my novel is going to help keep me going when I'm literally saying- what have I done? -to my last paragraph. XD
    WHY MUST I GO AWAY FROM MY PRECIOUS PLOT LINE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING CHARACTERS??? XD LOL!
    -Emma-

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    1. YES YOU CAN DO THIS. This also applies to writing a novel, because honestly there are many of the same fears and feelings involved in that. :P


      Good luck with that! XD

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  3. Thanks for the encouragement, Katie. I've taken some time off from editing, but I intend to jump back into it this week (including writing some new scenes because I decided to make some major plot changes to one of my novels) and so this pep talk is perfectly timed.

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    1. Wahoo! I hope editing goes amazingly for you. Getting started is always the most daunting part. You got this. :D

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  4. Oh, editing, you beast! I just finished fully editing my first novella, and it was such a relief to just be DONE! Now I'm creating a new WIP, and I already know there will be extensive edits. *sigh*

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    1. RIGHT?! That feeling is one of the best ever. xD

      And starting edits and thinking about all the editing to be done... that's one of the worst ever. :P It will be so worth it, though! You got this. <3

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  5. Thank you so much for this, Katie! I was just doing some edits, and I started getting discouraged. So I decided to take a break, and I read this post. It's almost as if you knew that I was going to need this. Thank you. :)

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    1. Awwwh. That makes me so happy. YOU CAN DO THIS. GO EDIT THE BEAST. <3

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  6. I just finished editing my novella and have sent it off to an editor (I'm so glad to hand the editing off to Abi - http://theleft-handedtypist.blogspot.com/) AND JUST GAH. I'M SO HAPPY.

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    1. YAY HOW EXCITING! Abi is my critique partner/alpha reader -- I think you'll find her really helpful! :D

      Good luck! <3

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  7. HI I NEEDED THIS. You know how difficult writing/editing is for me right now, and this was the perfect motivation. I can't promise I'll be writing any quicker, but I will be writing. And you will get your chapter soon. :)

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  8. This is wonderful!!! Part of me loves editing and making my novel all perfect, but the other part hates it because I feel like I'm just making my novel worse and worse. lol XD

    But there is good. If this story has been pounding in our hearts for hours on end as we type, there is SOMETHING we can work with, and pull a beautiful story from the messiness of our first drafts <3

    (btw, I had the pink blossom picture in YWW 2.0 on FB last night. So, HI :) )

    audrey caylin

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    1. Right?? That's always a fear I have. :P

      (I was wondering who that was! Hey. xD)

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  9. Great post!!! I think a lot of writers need to hear this and be encouraged. I don't think I know of ANY writer who's been 100% confident during the whole process, actually. But they're editing plenty of material that should be the greatest reason for a writer's confidence. :D

    Question: What does your editing process look like? Do you do your first round on the computer, and print it all out to mark on later? I just started editing my NaNoWriMo novel and I'm just looking for tips from writers who have already edited a novel before.

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    1. Eeep, writer's conferences. :D Have you gone to one?

      My editing process is completely different for each book, so it's hard to tell you exactly. Here's what works for me in general:

      1. write the first draft.
      2. let it sit.
      3. print out the first draft, making notes on what to change.
      4. realize that I need to rewrite everything, so that's what I do. xD
      5. then I"ll attack the third draft (what I'm doing right now.) I'll step back, read through the second draft, re-outline, and then work through the major plot problems.
      6. fourth draft -- this is where I go around and make sure the themes, character arcs, and the general flow is working for me.
      7. line edits. picky picky line edits. I go through this step multiple times, making sure my words are pretty and they sound nice. Usually this stage I'll send it to my critique partner, and she'll pick apart my grammar and chapters and such.
      8. I go over my critique partner's revisions, read through it ONCE MORE, and then send it off to betas!
      9. after betas I'll edit their critiques, and then figure out what's next. (like getting a professional edit. eek. o.o)

      So, I don't know if that's very helpful. That's what I do... but there's really no correct way to edit. :P I've printed out things before and marked the corrections on paper, but that didn't work great for me? So it's really all what works for you. :)

      Good luck! :D

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    2. Oooh, thanks so much for the step-by-step!!! It's so hard to reread my frist draft and correct aaallll the grammatical errors, misspelling, sentence structure, and whatnot, but it's a good idea to put the less important stuff aside till later. I try not to print stuff out till much later too, though :P

      Writer's conference? That builds confidence too. :) I've never been to one before, but I saw all the hype about Realm Makers and now I really really want to go this year :D

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  10. OH HOW I NEEDED THIS *drowns in piles of editing* I think I might be editing for April Camp (and I may be MILDLY terrified and unsure about this decision ...) but something tells me that I'll regret it if I do it xD.

    Also, the Sam quote. I want to print it out, replace 'world' with 'story', and HANG IT ON MY WALL. It would be the most epic of motivation.

    Editing, for me, has paused because I am lazy and procrastinating and VAGUELY TERRIFIED. And that's mostly because the next edit will be when I turn my novella into a novel and ... yeah, scary xD. SO we'll see how that goes.

    ANYWAYS. Sorry about the this slightly incoherent comment (hey, talking of edits will do that to me *nodnod*) but THANK YOU FOR THIS POST, WONDERFUL KATIE-PERSON xD. *hugs the post* Best of luck with your edits, my friend! <3

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    1. I WILL BE EDITING FOR APRIL AS WELL. You are not alone. xD

      RIGHT!?? Dude, I should actually do that. It would be so motivating to look at on my wall. o.o

      *hugs you tightly* YOU TOTALLY GOT THIS YOU WONDERFUL SAVANNAH-PERSON. <3

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  11. "But there's potential, because you created it."

    Yes, Katie! That was really good. You have no idea how inspiring for me this morning!

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    1. asdjkfl; THANK YOU SO MUCH. I hope you got lots of editing done today. :D

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  12. SO INSPIRING I hate editing and I've kind of stopped working on it, but i seriously need to go back to it.
    <3

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    1. YES you can do it. It's a hard process, but so worth it. <3

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  13. This post is so great--all your posts are, but this one is just so relevant for me atm. I'm editing the final draft of my manuscript and it's so stressful cuz after this it'll be out in the world for judging >.<

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    1. EEEK YOU GOT THIS. that must be so scary but I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THE THING. It will be amazing. <3

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  14. KATIE. YOU'RE SO INSPIRING. I finished writing the first draft of my book 4 months ago and have been procrastinating editing ever since. Because of you and this post - I have been inspired to tackle editing today! THANK YOU!!! (even though I'm scared and just reading the first line of my book makes me cringe. XD )
    Also - *internally fangirls and goes crazy over LOTR reference* SAM IS THE BEST AND I LOVE THAT WHOLE SPEECH. <3
    Thanks for being such a huge inspiration in my writing life, Katie! :)
    ~Jaclynn~

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    1. YAY!! How did the editing go for you?

      SAMM HE IS THE MOST LOYAL AND KINDEST PERSON I LOVE HIM. <3

      Thank you for being so encouraging, Jaclynn! You're amazing. :D

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  15. DUDE, YES to everything you said. Also that LotR quote = EVEN MORE YES.

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  16. INSPIRATION. MOTIVATION. I'M GOING TO GO EDIT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE MY STORY HAS POTENTIAL.

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  17. This is a nice post!! I have a hard time with my writing style I think. I have a blog, flowersinmybasket.blogspot.com, and I just feel like I word things strange on it. But I'm working on it!!

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    1. It's hard to find your own writing style. It took me a little while with my blog, but keep at it! Practice definitely makes perfect in this case. xD

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  18. Editing definitely is hard. *sigh* I have a love/hate relationship with it. That's why I "like" to binge edit. I only push through because it's the only way to make my story better. Thank you so much for the inspiring post!

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  19. Replies
    1. Editing's hard for a lot of people. :/ But you got this!

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  20. Thanks for this encouragement, Katie! Right now, I'm knee deep in completely rewriting my baby novel--my baby-baby novel. I love it so much. And honestly, I am slightly embarrassed that I love it so much because right now it is SO BAD. But at the OYAN conference I just came back from (which I really am going to email you about!) I learned that it's OKAY to love my story. Even though it's horrible right now, my love/passion for the story is what's going to drive the rewrites.

    So yah. Ranty comment there, but hey. :D Thank you for this encouraging post!!!

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    1. Awwh, baby-baby novel. That sounds so cute. :P

      (ooh, do email me! I would love to hear about it. :D) Yes, and I'm so glad you have a love for your story. That's so needed when your deep in the painstaking edits.

      You got this! :D <3 (and looking forward to your email!)

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  21. Thanks so much! This is exactly what I needed. I'm currently trying to work up the courage to start on like the hundredth round of edits on my WIP and looking at it is, well, discouraging. "Long, dark hallway" is the perfect description.

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    1. YOU CAN DO THIS. Hoping that you'll see the light at the end of the long, dark hallway. :)

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  22. So I just got my printed book WHICH IS GORGEOUS but...its huge! It's bigger than my iPad, and I have an Air...How big are your books?
    BUT IM USING YOUR OLD POST ABOUT HOW YOU EDIT AND BLESS YOU CHILD!

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    1. The first books I printed out were 9 by 6, but now I'm reprinting them 5.5 by 8.5. I really like that size. :D

      (ALSO I WANT PICTURES OF THIS BOOK.)

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  23. NOW I FEEL INSPIRED TO GO EDIT MY THING
    My book
    Ugh
    It's hard but so so worth it

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    1. YOU CAN DO THE THINGGG. I REALLY WANT YOU TO EDIT IT, because that first chapter was amazeballs, yo. I loved it. <3

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  24. This is so beautiful and encouraging. :') *sniffles happily* I honestly loathe editing.😂 But a lot of that is because I'm never sure if I'm doing it RIGHT and I write my first drafts really wildly and messily, so I feel like there's so much pressure when I get to edits to actually make it intelligible. And it's s slow?!? I consider it a good day if I get through one full chapter! ONE. Agh. But it's 1000% satisfying and worth it to see a book becoming beautiful and to see that potential really starting to shine. I loooove this post. All the encouragingness!

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    1. SAME. I think editing is hard, because there's really not a *right* way to edit. Different methods work for different people. And every story is different, so writing and editing articles appeal to different stories. *just used the word 'different' about sixteen billion times*

      YEAH IT'S RIDICULOUSLY SLOW. ugh. It drives me crazy. xD

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  25. Aw, this post! *hugs it* JUST what I needed right now. <3 Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Editing is hard. I completely agree. But I also agree that it is SO SATISFYING to see my book AFTER the editing process and being able to actually, like, READ it without cringing. ;)
    Thanks again for this post. :D

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    1. Awwh, I'm so glad! Yes, that feeling of reading the polished draft is the most happy feeling ever. <3 YOU CAN DO THIS!

      And thank you for reading!

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  26. THIS IS ACTUALLY LIKE ONE OF THE MOST ENCOURAGING BLOG POSTS I HAVE READ I THINK I WILL GO AND BOOKMARK THIS RIGHT NOW.

    There. I just bookmarked this. WOOOT. Now I can have this for backup encouragement when I begin editing! WHAT FUN. (THOUGH ha ha ha I kind of really should just finish writing right now).

    THIS POST WAS SO INSPIRING, KATIE! I loved it <3

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    1. AHHH YOU SWEET PERSON ASJDFKL;.

      Eeeek you make me so happy. xD YES YOU SHOULD GO WRITE. AND THEN FINISH THE THING. SO I CAN READ IT. :D

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  27. THIS IS SUCH A FANTASTIC POST AND JUST THE ENCOURAGEMENT I NEED. thank you, katie !

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  28. Thank you for this! I'm in the middle of line edits for my one novel and will at some point or another be starting the second draft of a recently finished and poorly plotted novel - so I need much encouragement! Lots of work lies ahead, but I think it will be worth it.

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    1. Line edits! That's my favorite part of the editing process. And second drafts... those are my least. xD

      It will totally be worth it. You got this.

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  29. OH LOOK. That calendar looks strangely familiar. :P

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  30. I loved your post! I've written two rough drafts (working on a third), and the thought of editing them makes me cringe! This was so encouraging!

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    1. Editing is always a scary thought, but it's so worth it. Good luck on the writing and editing! :D

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  31. THIS IS SO ENCOURAGING OH MY GOODNESS!

    I'm going to be moving into editing soon, and it kind of terrifies me, but this post totally pumped me up. YOU ROCK KATIE!!!

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    1. DUDE YOU WILL ROCK THIS. I cannot wait for you to start because then the book is one step closer to being in my hands. ajsdkfl; <3

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  32. Cool post! I can't say I fear editing (but I haven't done a full edit yet) But honestly I kind of like it. It is the point where I get to make it better then it was. Thanks for the post

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    1. Very true. I love what editing does... just... I struggle actually doing it. xD

      Thanks for reading!

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  33. Editing is hard. Thank you for the encouragement!

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    1. Of course! Thanks for reading and commenting. <3

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  34. Oh my goodness thank you so much for this! I'm editing my novel Runaway AND IT IS HARD. But I can do the thing.

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    1. I KNOW, IT'S REALLY HARD. You got this. <3

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  35. Katie thank you so much for this post <3 I will most definitely be referring back to this in the future.

    Right now I'm in the middle of this third draft, working through all of my beta reader comments. But I just finished one of the hardest chapters this evening so *heavy sigh of thankfullnes* here's to hoping things will be a leettle better after this ;)
    also CONGRATS ON REACHING 25 HOURS IN YOUR EDITING. ^.^

    jeniquablog.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank youu. <3

      Ugh. Beta comments. They are the best, but yet making changes to feedback can also be crazy exhausting. YOU CAN DO THIS.

      (eeeeep thank you!! I just finished my third draft so now I'm wondering what to do since I didn't quite make 40 hours yet. *quietly freaks out*)

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  36. Thank you for this!!! Great post!!!!
    TG xxx
    targetgirlonline.blogspot.com

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  37. Hi, Katie! I discovered your blog a little while back, and I love it! (Although for reasons unbeknownst to me, I have commented. :P)
    Anyhow, I had a question for you...
    I'm completely new to editing - having finished my very first draft for NaNoWriMo - and I have no clue where to start, begin, or anything. Since you have some novelling experience, could you give me some ideas? How do you go about editing? What do you start with? Or do you know of any sites that will help?
    Thank you SO much! :D
    ~Grace | https://theupstairsgirl.wordpress.com/

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    1. Trying to figure out where to start is one of the hardest steps. I love this post by Nadine Brandes (http://nadinebrandes.com/2015/09/23/how-to-self-edit-your-manuscript/).

      For the most part, I follow her progress. I let my novel sit, and then I read through the first draft (which includes lots of cringing.). I make loooots of notes on what needs to be changed, and often I'll rewrite it all or outline it from start to finish. Outlines/checklists are very helpful when it comes to editing. Make sure to take it slowly -- editing is not something to rush through.

      You have to kind of make your own editing process up as you go, if that makes sense. I know some writers print out their novel and scribble in the margins, and others go through it from the beginning, and some hop around... it's a trial and error process. :)

      YOU CAN DO IT! Let me know how the editing goes. :D

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    2. Thanks s'much, Katie! I really appreciate it. :) I'll be sure to let you know how things go! :D

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  38. This is awesome! I'm currently editing and needed this. (Also, I believe I've read a post or two, but other than that this is my first time visiting your blog. I'm an enfp/Twenty One Pilots and pizza fan too. And when I say pizza, I literally mean I created a pizza fandom.)

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