5 FACTS ABOUT MY EDITING PROCESS
Last week I talked about my revision process (piece found here) and this week I'm going to dive into five facts about my editing process. I will say that out of all of the stages of being a writer and author, this is the one that doesn't appeal to me. Whether that's after revisions and into the professional editing stage, or whether that's just in the self-editing stage. I don't do well with it.
FACT #1: EDITING REQUIRES A TON OF CREATIVE ENERGY
I don't know whether this is just something for me, or whether it's for all writers. Personally, I think it's the latter, but just in case it's not, I'll say that for me editing requires a whole lot more creative energy than say drafting. Even in revisions, I feel like I cope better because I have some leeway when it comes to where I spend the time and how I go about approaching it. Whereas with editing, there's usually a deadline of some sorts, and it's having to be on at all times when it comes to this process. If I miss out on sleep, I find it really really hard to keep my editing hat on, and it can lead to frustrations for both me and whichever editor I'm working with.
For me, the editing process takes the energy needed for drafting and multiplies it by a thousand. While drafting I feel like I can think things up on the fly, with editing, it's a whole different kettle of fish. I have to get it right as close to the first time as possible, and I really really struggle with it.
FACT #2: NO MATTER HOW PREPARED, IT ALWAYS WIPES ME OUT
This kinda feeds off the first fact. I will spend months in revision and then jump into editing and find that no matter how prepared I feel, or am, it's always going to be one hell of a ride. There are those authors who love the editing phase, and I wish I was one of them because it's like pulling teeth for me. I go over and over the chapters in revision and I just never feel completely like it's not going to fall apart the moment my editor looks at it. It doesn't seem to matter how much prep I do, there is always going to be a problem, and it's always going to amp up my anxiety going into it. But it's part of the process and it's something that I've learned to live with.
FACT #3: I MAKE CHANGES AS THE EDITOR READS
I thought I would touch on how I go through the editing cycle. For a lot of writers, the editor will send an edit letter and then they'll make the changes, for some they leave comments as well as the edit letter. Every editor I've worked with has done the comments and changing as we both work through the document. I feel like that's what works best for me, and if I was working with someone new, I would probably ask if they could do the same. I think it works because we're both in the document and both making changes here and there, and I'm able to hone in on the problem rather than being caught up in the whole book. We're going chapter by chapter, and while I do need to think about things like plot through the whole story, having that focus on the one chapter at a time really does help me.
FACT #4: WHILE I DISLIKE EDITING, I LOVE THE RESULT
It wouldn't be right for me to focus on what I don't like about editing, and not mention that after going through it all, the blood, sweat and tears that goes into it, not just from me, but my editors, I am very much happy with the result. I don't know if any other writers feel that same way where they get to a point where they're sick of reading the same chapters over and over, it happens to more than me, I'm sure, but when I get to the end of editing, when I'm finally able to call the book finished, I am so very happy with the result, and that's one of the reasons that I keep going through the same process over and over, because it works!
FACT #5: EVERY BOOK IS DIFFERENT, EVERY EDIT IS DIFFERENT
I think this is the problem for me, there is no set pattern of what needs to be done. I think if there were a way for me to approach revisions and editing the same way each time, it would become more familiar and less terrifying for me. That said, I do have some things that stay the same, like how I approach revisions and when I start to do the self-edit what that means, along with my outline for revising and the like. However, once that book goes off to the professional editor, all bets are off as to what they'll find that needs work. It's understandable since every single book can't be the same and can't have the same problems or issues, but it's still something that stresses me out, yet I know it needs to be done and because of that, will continue to work through it.
So there we go, those are five facts about my editing process. I plan to continue this next week with five facts about my ideas process, and I'd love to see you there. Editing isn't my cup of tea, but at the same time, it's very much a necessary step and something that you do learn to work with as you go through it time and time again.
Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!
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