My Editing Song: “Editing sucks. It really, really sucks. I hate it. It blows. Did I already say it sucks? I did. But let me say it again. Editing sucks. It suuuuuccccckkkksss!”
*And now I bend at the waist and take a bow*
Editing is not fun. Not by a long shot. I’d much rather write—so freeing, so creative. I LOVE the creative process of writing. I love it when my characters come alive on the paper and they feel like real people, people I care a whole lot about and don’t want to kill off no matter how much it is necessary to the story. When I’m writing, and my fingers are flying over the key board, I feel so ALIVE! Such joy.
Editing, on the other hand, is the equivalent to having my knuckles smacked with yard stick while my eyes are being jabbed with the pokey end of a wiener dog. (Just so you know, I posted this sentence on twitter with a fill in the blank. Sharp end of a . . . And I got responses like bowling ball, spork, dry spaghetti, Cinderella Pen, waffle, pencil. But the best one by far was wiener dog. I chose that one as the winner).
But we HAVE to do it. Just like paying taxes and dying. We don’t have a choice. Okay, technically, we don’t have to pay taxes, but jail doesn’t seem fun at all. AND technically, we don’t have to edit. We can leave it as is, but BOY you’ll look like an idiot if you choose not to. That doesn’t seem fun at all either—it's just like standing naked in front of the whole world while they mock your fat rolls and freckled bum (that’s what the over use of the words “just”, “was”, “as well”, passive voice, and adverbs are—fat rolls and freckled bums. Yuck. Edit those out of there).
Death you can’t get around. You will die. Sorry. Death is a stickler that way—stupid death.
Soooooo . . . Can anyone guess what I’ve been up to for the past 72+ hours? Yeah, that’s right. Editing away the fat rolls and freckled bums from my zombie western romance. You heard me. Zombie. Western. Romance. Yep. That’s what I’ve been doing since last Saturday. Non-stop.
Editing blows. I mean, I get it. I understand its purpose and the necessity of doing it—I want my stuff to be top notch. But it’s no fun. No fun at all. That doesn’t mean I’ve got to like it, right? I’m allowed to hate the process.
I’ve been going back through my manuscript, fixing goofball mistakes, and editing the suggestions given to me by my amazing critique partners and I wonder, “Why couldn’t I have just written it right the first time? What is wrong with me? Ugh! I’m stupid. I'm the worst writer ever!”
And then I remember Hemingway said: The first draft of anything is [crap]. And just so you know, the second version isn't usually much better. The third is on it's way, but usually by the sixth or seventh revision, you've at least been handed a towel to cover your fat rolls and freckled bum. You feel pretty good about yourself and you even feel like waving at the crowd.
I'm not quite there yet. Couple more revisions to go before I feel like waving.
I know I shouldn’t to use the word “just” over and over and over again, and yet, there it is . . . all 257 of them. What the heck? And let’s not forget the wonderful word “looked.” My characters look at things ALL the time—he looked at her, she looked at him, they looked at each other. *palm smack to the forehead*
All I can say is this, despite the fact I hate the editing process, I would NEVER, EVER, EVER, NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS, publish something I hadn’t edited the heck out of. Ever. It’s a necessary evil.
I still hate it though.
How about you? Do like your knuckles smacked with a ruler while your eyes are being jabbed with the pokey end of a wiener dog?
~The Reluctant Hook'er (Angela Scott)