I’m behind in my editing. I have a couple of novels that are halfway through editing, two more that are ready for it. I have an easy time writing, at least usually, but I find editing to be a huge pain.
I created the story… it’s a good story. Why do I have to go back and do more story? I know, that’s a silly way to look at it, but it’s kind of built into me.
See, I’m not a writer. I mean, sure, I am. I write stuff. But what I really am is a storyteller. Everything is about telling the story. Editing isn’t storytelling. Sure, you get a better story out of the end, but it’s being a critic, picking apart a story, figuring out what makes the story work and what doesn’t. Telling a story is different, to tell the story you have to turn off your critic, you have to just tell it, not overthink.
Sometimes I think maybe Dean Wesley Smith has the right idea, don’t do story edits, don’t try to silence that inner storyteller, instead focus on line edits. Get the grammar right, get the spelling right, trust your storytelling voice.
Of course, then I think about the first draft of A Long Walk, and I realise that’s a very stupid idea… I mean, I had a single POV, many of the events happened in a different order. Different people died. The ending was different (the general tone was the same, but the details were quite different).
So, I think it’s an issue for me, I need to get comfortable with editing, and I’m still not there. No matter how much I try to be I go through periods where I start to get into editing mode, do it for a bit, and then go chasing the next shiny story idea.
See, I did it again. I spent most of the day on Medium or on programming tasks… I’m just updating this now at the end of my day. Yeah, I have to get more comfortable with editing. Two hours tomorrow, no matter what else happens. I have a medical appointment and I will take my draft, force myself to sit at a cafe with my highlighters and no computer. Stick my phone in my bag… that should do the trick.
Sad when I have to trick myself to be able to do such an important part of my job though.