As last week was so productive, this week was doomed to editing. I still hit my targets – even if I did have a little overwhelmed cry on Wednesday – but mostly this week I was focusing on editing my short stories for the various and sundry competitions I’m looking to enter.
I hate editing. Editors of the big wide world, I envy you guys your skills. My brain hates rehashing something after it has been finished. Even though I know deep down that it needs to be polished. Maybe it’s an ADHD thing? Or maybe it’s a me thing. A more depressing alternative.
But I powered through. I’d like to get better at editing. My biggest problems seem to be that it feels like a joyless chore (blame my brain) and it also reminds me of my day job of being a teacher. As a teacher I hate marking my students’ work. I love my students, don’t get me wrong. But marking isn’t a fun process. Pulling apart someone’s work to expose flaws so that they may build on steadier foundations is a thankless job. And that’s what editing feels like.
I submitted a piece of work to be reviewed for my master’s degree the other day. Naughtily it was a first draft. The person checking it – another person on my course – said ‘clearly you have edited this’. Which, uh, makes my brain gremlins pounce on the idea that maybe I don’t need editing. The gremlins are just lazy and don’t want to do the bad boring work. Don’t listen to them.
I bought a book recently to help with the editing process; Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. Now to convince myself to read it. I’m working on that next step. The brain gremlins are fighting me.
I wonder how everyone else edits.
If anyone is curious, here’s my latest Reedsy competition entry. It’s a little self-indulgent coming of age romance. Click through if you’re interested.