Editing Is The Hard Part

From the email bag:

Editing is the hard part, and I keep trying to avoid it. It’s easier to get on with the next book, but I’ll never move up the ladder to published if I do that. Writing, getting that first draft out of your head, is just so much fun. The rest, editing, is painful, but challenging.


And yes, I understand completely about the “editing” part of the writing process.  It’s not fun.  😦

When the words of the story just pour out of you in that rush of creating the first draft, that’s grand fun.  When the writing is going great, there isn’t a high like it in the world.  Then the book is done, it’s time to edit, and the let-down is awful.

The good news is that once you do learn to fix something in the editing process– like an error that managed to spread itself across your entire manuscript, which I’ve done more times than I care to admit –you’ve practiced the fix so much that it has become unconscious and **drum roll** you never have to fix it again.  (Or at least if it does sneak in, the fix is on a much smaller scale.)

So each book that you write requires less editing, because with each book you’ve edited you learned all those lessons so they are automatic in the writing process.

Look at it like you’re learning a new skill, maybe playing the piano.  It doesn’t come automatically, you have to practice.  And “editing” your manuscript is the practice part.

The more you practice, the more automatic it all becomes.  Until finally, just like with the piano player, there comes a point in the practice (editing) that the skills have become so ingrained that the “writing” part become effortless and truly beautiful because the editing skills are now unconscious and automatically incorporated into the words you write, which are so polished they require little, if any editing.

Moral: The more editing you do now, the less editing you will have to do in the future.