If you want to be a published author, you have to edit your work. No matter the publishing path, editing is along the way.
Sometimes editing makes me feel like I know what I’m doing. Really. I see the problem. Take my pen to it. Look at the page and see all those marks, and hey, me, I’ve accomplished something. I can even flash that paper at someone and say, “Look what I did today!” It’s a bit like showing off my latest skate injury. It hurts, but I’m proud.
But editing (writing) isn’t always like that. Sometimes looking at my work makes me feel as if a flesh eating virus has wheedled, twisted, and hooked its way from my brow to my heart. I will have to wear a veil to hide the horror of it.
Yes, I like a bit of melodrama.
But a bit like the psychological drama of showing your face to the world if you know the world won’t want to see it…the world may not want to see my writing (I type here, showing the world my writing…). Maybe it would be best to veil the words. What is the point of showing one’s self to the world? Why do we want to do it?
No, I’m not going to cover up and hide. I am going to edit and all will be fine. I am a tiny speck of space dust and my book added to the planet won’t affect the earth’s gravitational pull or anything. But eventually it will make me happy. Happy-ish. The happy-ish speck of space dust.
Sounds like a comic strip.
So, when you edit your work, how do you feel?
6 thoughts on “Editing: The Mutant Virus Edition”
I have two editing modes, light and heavy. Light is fun and fixing little things along the way. Heavy is like starting all over. I don’t like heavy. 😉
I don’t like heavy either. Sometimes I start off light, but end up heavy before I realize what happened.
A bit like you, sometimes it can be great – a part that you knew wasn’t quite right when you wrote it, but looking at it with fresh eyes you know exactly how to fix it. Other times, not so great – a part that you thought was brilliant when you wrote it, but looking at it with fresh eyes you can see it’s terrible and have no idea how to fix it!
Oh, that terrible mental place where I don’t know how to fix it. How I hate that.
“I am a happy-ish speck of space dust” doesn’t make for a very inspiring bumper sticker. Ha.
How I feel about editing mostly depends on how recently I’ve written whatever-it-is. The sort of editing I do over the next few days after it’s written I mostly feel good about. But after I’ve let it sit for a few months (years, even), when I go back to it it’s like, yes, Aaaiieeeee! Like it’s been mutating radioactively in my absence and has become this dreadful overwritten, continuity-challenged thing. Editing seems impossible and pointless then. But usually I’ve calmed down with a few weeks or months more, and have some ideas about how to fix whatever-it-was thanks to something else, something really cool I’d forgotten I’d included earlier. So it works out. Usually. (He said, whistling past the graveyard of non-publication.)
The graveyard of non-publication…there’s a tumblr blog in that title.