I’ve sat here for the last two hours staring at my computer screen. I haven’t written a word, haven’t thought of a cool concept, or even outlined a plot. No I’ve just been sitting here, editing.
Checking every line for errors and making sure every word and punctuation mark are just so. As much as I had lamented that punctuation was the bane of my existence, I think editing is coming in at a close second. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s necessary. I know that editing can be the difference between a good and great book, and that without it the world would be full of writers’ half baked tales that they just can’t seem to escape from in their mind’s eye. I get all of that, but I still hate it.
I’d honestly compare it to a mental dungeon of sorts. You finish your book and then you come from the highs of wielding your pen (or fingers that are tapping furiously at a keyboard) to create a magnificent world. And you push yourself down into the dark, rank depths of editing. The process itself is frustrating. Hacking off words from your beloved work and realizing that you started a new chapter and left out any hint of a transition from the previous one.
After you finish hacking that bit off, you realize that you somehow completely missed an entire section of dialogue that has no quotation marks. So you go back and fix that while still nit picking at every flaw you continue to come across. Then, while doing all of that, it dawns on you that your brilliant masterpiece is really nothing more than a sloppy sketch of an idea.
I hate it. Every single step of it, until I get to the end. Then I see the light at the tunnel and my story emerges from the depths of the self inflicted dungeon as a beautiful creature that I am proud of. No longer is it just blobs of clay pieced together, but it has form, color, and one hell of a presence. It is at that moment that I breathe a sigh of relief and tell myself that maybe this whole editing business wasn’t too bad after all. At least until I reach another round of edits in the future.