Friday, May 27, 2011

Editing is Writing

Sometimes we are so caught up in the excitement of making that first draft that when it comes time to edit, that necessary aspect of writing pales by comparison.  It's not to say there are not multiple uh huh  moments when you bask in the glory of well-arranged words, a perfected piece of dialogue, a rearranged scene, but for some reason (at least for me), the editing-phase isn't a favorite one.  Of course, I pull myself through, pass the changes onto to trusted beta readers for feedback and critique.  But as an earlier post on this blog (The Lagging Middle) disclosed, there's certain points along the way, I have to dig inside to keep moving forward.

Maybe part of it is the simple truth that a writer, writes.  And we've all heard it said that we only improve by continuing to write.  Edits, well, don't make you feel like you're writing.  That is a delusion!

Just think about it.  Yes, you may slash out scenes, take out words, but how many new sequences do you interject?  In how many sections have you inserted revised phrasing, written entirely new scenes, improved on the original?  That's right.  Repeat after me:  Editing is writing.

What does that mean?  You're growing as a writer, even as you edit.

I had this "little talk" with myself actually.  New characters speak to me, eager to pull me into their world, and for the last four years, I have listened, and written their stories.  I'm proud to say that out of that hard work, I have written seven novels that I am extremely proud of, but ask me how many of them are refined enough at this exact moment to share with you?  One.  (Ties that Bind, available in electronic format here. Don't forget coupon code: H737L $3.99 USD)

Now, I'm not ashamed about that fact.  Especially, now that I've chosen the self-published route, I appreciate the aspect of editing even more.  But as I think ahead, I want to continue making my novels available for my readers.  So, it's actually great that I have six more to pull from, to revise, refine, and make shine, but when I look forward, I see a lot more editing than new books being written.  (Trust me, I have lots of characters who still try to pull me in, but I've just told them sssh for the moment.)

But realizing that editing is writing too, I'll push through.  Knowing that at the end of it, people will be able to read my books, and hopefully be drawn in and enjoy my hard work, that is priceless.  It's terrific knowing that I'm working toward an ultimate goal now that is within my reach.  I promise my readers a release this Fall, Winter, Spring, and next summer.

And, of course in there, I intend to write.  I'd love to participate in Nanowri at least.  It was great fun last year!

In the meantime, how else will I feed my need to get new words down?  This blog, and guest posts on other blogs, of course.

So have you experienced the editing blues?  Based on comments from "The Lagging Middle", I know some of you out there do?  How do you combat the negative energy and continue forward?  What else do you while you're in the editing phase to keep fueled?