Monday, July 11, 2011

First Drafts Are Fun, Edits Are Work


It's a common thing to hear writers discussing the editing progress on their books.  Rarely do these writers say, yeah, I'm editing!   Most times I can imagine a grimace.  Let's face it, we love the finished product, but the process of getting our books there takes a lot of work.

First drafts are fun, edits are work.

If you're like me, you really tend to drag your feet procrastinate at this stage.  Anything that can take you from editing is a welcome thing, even if that comes in the form of cleaning the toilet.  But, I stuck to it and finished the first round of hard edits on my thriller, ELEVEN.  (Yeah!! Of course, I still have to enter the changes, and I'm not going to think about how many more rounds there are to go...lol)

What can help you to push through the editing process?

Make yourself.  Writing is an art form, and like all art forms it takes discipline.  We write because we want to.  No one is making us.

Focus on your goal.  You want a finished product you can be proud of.  You have a date you want to get it off to beta readers or editors by.  You have a date in mind for when you want to publish.

Get an editing partner.  While I don't have personal experience with this, I know that some have benefited greatly.  It's having someone there that is at the same point with their work.  In some ways, I suppose my husband could kind of be my editing partner, not that he writes, but he's there pushing me the entire way.

Set a deadline.  Give yourself a target on the calendar.  When do you want this round of edits finished?

Remember forward momentum is progress.  Sounds straight-forward, right?  But sometimes when we're buried under 500-700 double-spaced pages and we've only edited a couple in a day, it doesn't seem like a lot.  Remind yourself of this:  how did you write the first draft?  No matter how fast you may have it only happened one word at a time.  The same is true with editing. Maybe things are not moving along as fast as you had wanted them to, but if your book is constantly improving, you're on track!

Celebrate your accomplishments along the way.  Share your progress with other writers.  Let them encourage you.

These are a few areas that have helped me push through edits.  What about you?  When you don't feel like editing, what makes you?
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Here's an interesting post as well:  9 Editing Tips that Make Your Writing Sparkle  I think it's worth a look.