The Dreaded Process of Self-Editing

Over the past three weeks I have been attempting, seemingly in vain, to edit a novel I wrote three years ago and promptly refused to look at again. This is that story thus far…

In the middle of 2017 I started the process of writing a sequel to it, and subsequently had to fact check some information in the first novel. I cringed at what I had written. Only one person I know read the work after I had “completed” it, and upon reading a single page of the work I contacted that person and apologized for what they had read.

This is not an overstatement of how bad the work was, it is terrible. I feel better knowing that I can tell myself honestly that my pride and joy first novel was a total piece of garbage. Yet, probably because it’s my baby, I still have faith in the overall story contained in the jumbled, incomplete, and sometimes completely incoherent storyline contained in its pages.

Everyday I sit at my desk and stare at a page from it. It’s grueling to even proofread, and ultimately I am slowly rewriting the entire thing. Truth be told, that’s what it comes to sometimes. Even if I dread deleting all that work paragraph by paragraph, most days accomplishing nothing on it.

In three weeks I have only managed to make it through about fifty pages, and the only thing that makes me keep going back to it is the hope that when I reach the end it’ll be a decent story. I’m being honest with myself on my writing in all aspects. There are good qualities and bad qualities about every author (which is why editors exist) and I know that if I can make it through this I can edit anything else I’ll ever write.

So the things I’ve learned already in the last three weeks that I’m going to share with you tonight are as follows:

Always be honest with yourself!

Commit to the project, even if you falter at times, it’ll be better than the first run through it. (It has to be, right? :-P)

Sometimes it’s quicker and easier to rewrite than it is to edit.

Thanks for reading my rant! I hope your creativity is flowing and your self doubt is minimal! (considering that we can’t be artists without it…)

~ Jon~

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