Reflections on Editing

Remember how I’ve said I tend to procrastinate a bit while editing? Well, thanks to that, here comes a new blog post!

I’m wrapping up round 2 of editing and will start on round 3 today – that’s the first round where I make changes to the draft on my computer. It’s a big step, and once I hit that phase, it isn’t long before I’m ready to publish.

However, I’m also going to be writing 3-4 new chapters for this book. I have a tendency to do a hard stop at the end of the climax and end the book. Then, after editing and getting some feedback from editors/critique partners, I add in the final resolution of the story. It’s almost like I need time to process what the ending should be after going through the emotional ups and downs of writing a climax in a book.

This book was a bit of a roller coaster to write. I think second books in a series are harder than the first in a series. I definitely went through all the emotions while writing this book. The climax was a blast to write. Probably one of my favorite things I’ve written so far. Which could be another factor as to why I stopped right when it ended and said “done.” Even though I knew I’d come back to it and write a few chapters after the fact.

The new chapters are a reward for me, though, something to look forward to doing after I finish round 3 of edits.

Now, if you’ve followed me on social media or read my other posts, you know how I feel about editing. I’m working on changing my mindset around this part of the process, so it feels less like work. I wonder if part of my stress around editing is the fact that it is similar to what I do for my day job as a teacher. How often am I giving notes on papers that students write? For me, writing is my creative outlet. Editing starts to feel similar to what I do for “work” whereas, writing doesn’t. It’s the fun part.

With that in mind, I’m working to shift my thinking around editing so I can start to view it as an integral part of the process and consider the benefit I get from editing.

When I edit, I get a larger view of the overall story. That’s a huge benefit since I don’t allow myself to edit as I write. I also get to see the places I can improve my work as a writer, and I get to see the progress I’ve made from one work to the next. Honestly, editing is a wonderful thing because it’s where the story starts to come together on its own. It’s how I take an idea and turn it into a living thing, giving it an identity. Without editing, it’s not fully formed. In the end, as much as I fight it, editing is pretty magical.

They say that when you do things you enjoy, you complete them faster. When I write, I typically get through 2,000 words in an hour. I love writing. It gives me energy and recharges me. When I edit, I move much slower. It seems to take forever. I’m working on getting to the point where I can appreciate and start to enjoy editing so I’m not spending a month on every project when I reach that stage. We’ll see how it goes on the next book since I’m going to work on my mindset from the very beginning of the process.

Okay, procrastination done. On to round 3 edits – the ones that start making the changes!

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