Thursday, March 8, 2018

I like to edit... right?

This month, we’re talking all about the human side of being a writer, the things that none of us really like to talk about, and yet the things that we go through all the time. Like this:

Sometimes, I don’t like to edit

Honestly, most of the time, I don’t like to edit. I enjoy editing usually, I’m good at it, I know what I’m doing and I can craft a heck of a story, but some days I really don’t like doing it. It takes a long time, it takes a lot of focus and thinking and consideration, and sometimes… I just really don’t like it.

And just like Tuesdays topic, this is okay too.

Editing can be stressful. In fact, I think of it as a lot more stressful than writing itself. Where writing is the enjoyable side, the explorative side, editing is strict and rote and set in stone. Commas go in specific places. Dialogue tags are only used in specific circumstances. Paragraph and sentence lengths need to be varied. Word use needs to change.

That doesn’t always sound like fun.

I’ll be the first to admit that there are days when I have a grand time in my editing. Some days I can sit down and go through well over a hundred pages in editing, and I have so much fun going through it and I’m positive that I’ve made everything amazing and beautiful. But then there are other days when I look at the editing that needs to be done, and I think to myself… I could do that later, couldn’t I?

It’s not that I don’t like editing, or that I don’t like the stories I’m working on (remember, I’m usually editing anywhere between two and five projects at a time), but that some days I don’t like the act of editing. I’d rather be doing anything else.

But that’s okay.

Editing needs to take a lot of focus, and if I can’t offer that focus to editing right now, then I probably shouldn’t be working on it anyway. Fortunately, I have a bunch of other things I can also be working on, but I know that’s not the case for all of us.

In which case, I have one simple piece of advice for you:

Take a break.

Whether it be fifteen minutes, three hours, or two days, take a break. If you’re not feeling the editing, it’s probably not a good time to edit. And editing is, despite popular opinion, something you can’t force yourself to do. If your brain isn’t up to it right now, don’t make your brain do it.

Nothing wrong with that, in the slightest.


{Rani Divine}

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