Editing and I have a very constrained, very problematic relationship. We don’t get along too well.
This is one of those problems that I worry will derail any chances of me actually publishing something strong that I’ve written. Basically, what happens is I write something, a novel let’s say, and it’s good. The creative juices flow, and the words come pouring out, and all the themes get planted down on the page, and the page count soars and everything tidies up at the end and everyone is as happy as pigs in shit.
Then, since it’s something I’m proud of, something that I want to get published, I decide that I need to edit it. I am beyond aware that my writing isn’t the kind that can be shipped off the second after I write it, I know it needs editing.
And that’s when absolutely everything comes grinding to a shitty, un-productive, cluster-fucked halt. Because editing isn’t fun. It isn’t the, “soaring through the fields shooting words out of every orifice” part of the job, so therefore it sucks. It sucks, and it’s fucking beyond essential.
So I usually sit at my keyboard, locked into a hate stare with the printed manuscript and the word file on the screen, screaming to myself, “just edit it you fuck! You wrote the fucking thing, so edit it!”
But I can’t. I freeze, and then go find something else to do, or waste time writing blog posts.
To be clear, I’m not talking about combing through a piece and fixing the grammar problems and the spelling issues. I’m talking about the editing where you rip the entrails out of something and install new ones, where whole paragraphs, whole characters, whole plot lines, get shotgunned away from the body of work and need replacing. That’s the shit I have problems with, the step of the process that derails me forever.
Why? I have no fucking idea. Probably because it’s hard. I’m going to give it another try though.
But first I’ll have another cigarette.