Monday, 11 November 2019

Why I Hate Editing - The After Process


WHY I HATE EDITING

This is something I've been asked a lot, both here and in my other social media platforms. I'm an author of sixteen books published and another ten finished, or more, I keep losing count. But anyway, I'm an author, and I obviously go through an extensive editing process, so why do I always say that I hate editing? It's not that I don't do it, I have betas and then onto my editing team which comprises of a developmental editor, a line editor and a proof-reader, so I do go through the process, but what makes me hate it so much?

Glad you asked, because I'm going to go into a little bit more detail today about why I dislike that side of the writing process and basically, what I've done about it since I first realised. I'll try and break it into points, but I'm not one hundred percent sure that'll work, so we'll see how it goes!

#1 - I LOVE DISCOVERING NEW PARTS TO MY STORY

This can be linked back to me being a planster or a hybrid, though I tend to lean more to the panster side than anything else. Alexa Donne calls this 'discovery writing' and I adore it! I love drafting, I love sitting down at the keyboard and banging out the words and learning the story as I go. I know it doesn't work for everyone, and that's okay, but my process is one that thrives without too much confinement. And when it comes to editing that project, I realise just how much I dislike having to pull it apart.

I know that it's for the best, I know that it's a necessary part of writing and publishing, but I loathe it. It makes me anxious and unsure. Imposter syndrome comes in and sits on my shoulder while I read, and while I do edit as I go, I find that leaving that drafting stage where literally anything can happen, just doesn't appeal to me. I still go through it, but I don't enjoy it the same way that I do drafting.

#2 - STRESS AND ANXIETY DON'T DO WELL
As I said above, I find that imposter syndrome pops up a lot when I'm editing. Either as a voice saying that even though I thought that chapter/scene/whatever was good, my editors won't. It's an internal battle and I actually really struggle with it. I know that I will get through it and I have some tricks of my own to make sure that I don't get lost in the pit of despair, but it's something that I really find hard to do. And that's another reason to hate the process that puts me in that place.

#3 - DEADLINES ARE HARD FOR ME

I've mentioned this before, but as someone who's chronically ill and has limited energy, meeting deadlines is hard. I am also highly anxious about them. I love the release process, but that first step, the editing of my work, sometimes knocks me for six. Especially when things go wrong along the way. Like this year, my editing team kinda fell apart. I had one editor who was both developmental and line, and then a proofreader. Due to health issues, my editor had to bow out. The problem was, this was in the middle of edits. I had to scramble to find someone who could both help, and meet those deadlines. It didn't help that I was already stressed out because of three books in one year, but it just made life extremely hard for me.

Now you could argue that since I have a whole new team in place, it's likely that I'll have a smoother release year in 2020, and I'd agree with you, but that doesn't change the fact that deadlines, especially when they're hard deadlines that can't be changed, adds to my work load and makes it hard for me to focus. I've always been like that, always been unable to manage to meet deadlines. If it's just myself I'm relying on, I have the control about what happens when, but when I hand my book over to someone else, I have to rely on them and I know the possibility of outside factors having an impact on them.

Overall, it's basically just a high stress time for me.

And finally, #4 - EDITS REQUIRE A LOT OF ENERGY
I've touched on this with points two and three, but editing is a hard process. I know a lot of writers who hate the drafting stage, but love edits and revisions. I also know people like me who struggle with them. It's not a case of not wanting to do them, or thinking they're unnecessary, it's just the way we work. And that's okay. I don't always have the energy to go through edits, but that's when the deadlines come into play and I find myself pushing to meet them, even when I should probably rest up.

So there we have it, my reasoning for why I hate editing. It's very much a necessary part of the process, but having learned from my mistakes, I won't ever be releasing more than two books a year again. I am simply not built for doing rapid release or anything above the two. And even then, they take a lot out of me. I know that releases themselves take a lot out of most authors, but that's a piece for another day!


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