E is for Editing
I hate it.
Okay, that’s not exactly true. I enjoy first draft writing the most, but there are things I really enjoy about editing as well.
It’s just not as much fun as writing. The first draft is like a magical mixing bowl where you can create a village that lives on the back of a dragon who fights other dragons with villages on their backs. And just as the battle is winding down, Aliens!
Once in the editing stage, lines have been drawn, boxes created, and now you have to stay within them.
In the early stages of editing, taking to a rough manuscript is like discovering a brand new way to write.
Have an artist paint a portrait with his brushes, and then make him do it again using only his fingers. It’s like that. A big change.
One the hardest things to deal with is switching from first draft writing to editing. Most of the time it feels like another writer comes in to sit in your chair, and he’s there until the editing is done. And it’s just as tough to switch back to first draft writing.
Though there are several stages for the writer to take on, he (or she) should not be alone. A humble writer will know that a manuscript can’t be at it’s best without another set of eyes. Preferably more, and one set of those eyes should belong to a professional editor.
I learned years ago that no matter how many times I read and edited my work, there were always mistakes that got through. Typos that my eye passed over as my mind, which knows the way the sentence should be, fixed the mistake allowing it to live.
It’s not all bad. There’s a certain challenge to it that you can’t get anywhere else. And while it’s not as fun as writing, it’s far more integral in getting to a finished product.
Next time, I talk about an F-word.