Archive for May 29, 2015

Of Editing and Writing

Sitting down behind your computer, or at your table with a notepad and pencil, you’re ready to bang out a new yarn, as Robert E. Howard would put it. There’s nothing more exciting than taking a fresh idea, wrangling it into words, and forming a new story. The act of creation, bringing words to life, can be an intoxicating high.

And then there’s editing.

Don’t get me wrong. I often love the editing process. Setting aside a story for a time so I can get a fresh look at it, or having colleagues critique the story, often spurs me to new ideas, to either fix problems or to tweak good parts to make them great. Editing in itself isn’t at all a negative for me.

My editing problem has arisen from the fact that I have a significant body of writing, and some stories need editing. And I’m in the middle of a second draft of my first novel. Trying to get the novel draft finished is exhausting editing work. I can’t really justify editing short stories while the novel needs done. If I take any more short stories in to critique groups, I’ll invariably have to go back and do more editing.

Meanwhile, with so much editing work on my plate, when do I get the opportunity to write new words? To feel the excitement of starting (and finishing) that fresh new story? Ah, the pains of being a writer!