Editing

I love to write I love the process of putting my thoughts and ideas onto paper. I love playing with ideas, playing with characters, playing the game of what if and everything that is entailed in the whole process of writing. There are no bones about it, I get joy from writing and I want to share that joy with others. That is all there is to it. This has been me since I was a little girl. I have always had the dream of publishing, but there is one major road block that I loath and I try to avoid though it is impossible to avoid. What is this beast? Editing of course. This is my Achilles heel. Editing.

I hate editing for many reasons, I hate the nitty-gritty. I hate having to look at those minor details, should a comma go there? Or would it be better to put a semi-colon? Maybe it would be better to put that one sentence into two. I hate doing it. I of course love having the finished product and seeing my work stronger than it was before but I hate looking at the little details, I am a big picture sort of girl to be honest. I like to tell the story and let it stand, but it can’t stand and can’t stand as strong if I don’t edit.

Thus, I find myself kicking and screaming when I sit at my computer to work. I barter with myself. What if I work on this second story instead that is work that is progress toward the ultimate goal! Yet I am faced with the brutal reality that I can only fool myself for so long I can have 50 novels written (which I don’t) and still not have anything to speak for it but basic manuscripts unless I edit. So I have been pushing myself, and editing. I forced myself to look at the returned chapter from a friend who volunteered to edit things further and I got it completed. Success! Then came chapter two.

Now chapter 1 has been a long work in progress I would look at it for 15 minutes and fix a few things and delete the comments once the issue was resolved and then I would quit. Then I would come back a week later and spend another 20 minutes. This was a long drawn out process and thus this last hour I spend on it there maybe 5 comments to address and re-work things. With that success I rushed to chapter 2 and was stopped dead in my tracks. 83 comments. Talk about a blow.

Now I will say of those 83 comments some of them were compliments liking the thought process of my character or agreeing how another character is a bit like her name sake. So it wasn’t all bad but still seeing all that work is overwhelming and depressing. I read the comments and had to walk away. Nothing of the fault of my editor, it just was too much for me at the time. So this week those 83 comments have been looming over my head and I’ve been trying to ignore them. I know it isn’t true, and I know that the comments is to help me improve and that is what I want to do but at the same time in my twisted little mind I question my skills as a writer. I know it isn’t true, I know I can write but the question still surfaces and it is a right pain.

Editing sucks. That is all there is to it. I hate editing, I hate the minor details even though they are important and I hate how they point out my flaws. I know I’m not perfect but I don’t like looking at the imperfections under a microscope. Yet it must be done and while I have been ignoring it all week with the excuse of being tired, of writing my other novel I am going to have to commit to editing, as I think that is the only way to get through this. So, starting now I am going to commit to editing for thirty minutes minimum a week. As I can easily go weeks without editing because I loath it. As the saying goes one had to regularly practice writing, maybe the same is true with editing, you have to be regularly practiced in it. What do you think? Should writers not only regularly practice writing but also practice editing?

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6 thoughts on “Editing

  1. Doc Croc says:

    From one who makes her livelihood editing – yes, need to practice both. And yes, sometimes one would find me kicking and screaming when the procrastinating has be forced to an end, making myself begin the process once more!

  2. One thing to remember when you get my 90 bajillion editing comments is that what you hate to do, I really enjoy doing. I like to take already-good work and make it better by changing phrasings and adding commas or making the context clearer.

    (Although I totally understand the procrastination – even things I enjoy doing get put off for other things if I don’t necessarily have a deadline! XD)

    • Misheal Crocker says:

      Thank you. You made me smile. I have already knocked the 83 down to 45 as of today for my required editing session. I figure the best way is to address the easy ones first, like the added commas, and periods. Is it cheating? Maybe a little considering there is a lot of re-wording yet to address.

      • Nah, you have to do those at some point! And you may disagree with me about some of the changes – my job is to point things out for you to consider and to give suggestions. Not to write the book for you. πŸ™‚

      • Misheal Crocker says:

        I agree and I sit and think about every one. Chapter 1 I opted to keep things as they were at one point but 99% of the time you are very on point and I re-word things. Maybe with my own new twist though πŸ˜‰

      • Exactly the way it should be! I don’t write the same way you do, and it’s your story. You get to decide how it’s all completed in the end.

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