The Curse of the Edit


I have always loved the writing process. The ability to publish and share my work with others has been truly transformative. I used to think I had difficulty completing things, but looking back, I understand that it wasn't completing that was the problem, it was editing. I was perpetually in a state of editing. INTOXIC took me 25 years to fully complete, because every year I rewrote it. Editing for me is less about checking the punctuation and more about adjusting the words to make them better. I could never share it because it never felt done. Even now, if I go back and look at it or even listen I see what I want to change or adjust. Especially in audio. I really notice it there, where the rhythm breaks or a word repeats itself too close on its heels. That feels like a failure to me, but I don't think it is. I think it is exactly what it needs to be and I have to move forward. That is the key, forward motion. Purgus doesn't cause me such angst because I think it inspired and wrote and came exactly as it should. Of course I've not heard it in audio yet, that's when I'll know.

I am now on book 3 of the Alison Hayes Journey, in the most dreaded phase of editing. I sat down with a a paper copy and crossed out and made notes and changed words and added punctuation. That is the most exhausting piece of the whole process. The paper edit is time consuming and frustrating. It takes more time to work through that process than to write to original rough draft. I did it, though, and now I've sent it on to my editor and am waiting for her to work through the frustrating part.

I think there is a process to editing that I haven't mastered. The sheer act of rereading what I've written feels strangely daunting, as if the writing of it is all I can manage. What is the most difficult part of writing for other people? I'd like to know...


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