Skip to content

Why Writing is So Much More Fun than Editing

August 11, 2014

When it comes to writing, I consider myself fairly prolific.
Not compared to those writers who wring out several pages every single day or write a 100K word story three times a year. But I do manage to type up a novel length story or two and the odd pieces of short fiction (short stories, challenges, writing prompts) every year.

But when it comes to editing I feel like such a slowpoke.  – Why is that?

Well, the obvious answer is that for me, creating is what motivates me to write in the first place. By writing, I put into existence something that would not otherwise be there. I like watching the story unfold, I enjoy getting to know my characters and going with them on their personal journeys. I love what it gives me. I can turn off that inner editor fairly well and just see what happens.

Editing presents me with two things that I’m not that keen on:

First, it is a lot more restrictive. The process of editing is about finding mistakes and faults and everything wrong with the story. When is it enough? How much nitpicking will I do, and will I end up destroying something good on the way?

And second, the finish line feels like it is so far away. Even if I have a bigger picture in mind when I write, it is pushed to the back of my head and the here and now of what I am typing is the important thing. When editing, I am looking for the result rather than enjoying the process.

Is there a way to make editing more enjoyable? I think that I have found one solution while editing one of the stories that I am working on right now. It is very simple, but may actually help: Think of editing as a creative process just like writing. Take one chapter at the time and consider each of them  a goal in itself. Yes, there is a finish line at the end, but that is the case when writing too. And then remember to notice the strong points of the story as well as all the weak ones. Yes, editing is about remedying problems, but it may not be so bad to notice what you are doing right along the way.

Advertisements
3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2014 12:35 pm

    I share you’re views on writing and editing here. I find editing a lot of hard work but as I was editing a collection of intertwined short stories I’ve written I did find that by doing a story at a time, essentially a chapter, I was able to get through the edit a lot quicker and with I didn’t feel as drained by the process.

    Like

    • August 24, 2014 12:43 pm

      Good to hear that you’ve found a method that works for you. Intertwined short stories, by the way, can be really interesting! Thanks a lot for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: