Friday, November 18, 2011

When Editing is Sweet

It seems all writer's hate editing their own stuff, even if they feel they are good at it. There's something about tossing out what they still consider "great" and getting rid of the stuff they have slaved over. Years ago someone compared writing to a baby. You are creating this baby and suddenly have to edit parts of it; like only being able to accept half a child.

Does this sit well for you? (No pun intended), it never did for me. Sure, writing is creation in action, but the most beautiful things out there must be weighed and analysed to see if they still fit into our creation of life. We need to know what binds our words together, and what takes us on a side road. We need to know what works and what doesn't, and while writing from our heart will bring us great things that may not always connect, they are still great things to be kept.

I like the idea of letting go but only to a new file. Say you don't think that scene is right for your book, instead of tossing it aside for eternity, you place it in a new file for later. Maybe that first chapter doesn't work but the second one does, or that article on fruit flies leave little to be desired--at least for now. Save it. You may just go back to it later, even it it's only to see how far in your writing you've come.

My first article was terribly written, I look at it now and am embarrassed to show it to anyone. But I have it. When I'm down on my writing I go back to it and instantly see how far I've come. And it doesn't hurt me a bit.

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