Editing… Not something I am truly the best at with my own work.
But I hear that’s a common problem. Having a conversation today, I realize that I really spend almost no time at all editing anything. Mostly, I just write what’s in my head, and occasionally, I’ll go back and slag a paragraph or move it around a little.
Some people consider editing a check for correct word usage. and. precise. punctuation. When they get a rough draft in hand, they want to look for the spelling errors and the places where they’re finding their ‘there’ where they wanted ‘they’re’. It’s not bad as a consideration, and it’s definitely necessary work. Proofing is it’s own reward, but it’s not all there is to the world of editing.
Editing is actually an art in as much as writing is an art.
It’s the process of thinking through what we want to say and how we want to say. It moves, it develops over time, and it changes as we work with a topic or idea. There’s invention and innovation that occur while taking the red pen to something.
It’s what the poet refers to when they repeat the anecdote ‘ I spent all morning taking a comma out, and all afternoon putting it back in.” Every work needs rhythm and punch: Sometimes to entertain, sometimes to persuade, sometimes in pursuit of some intangible good – like beauty or flow.
In my writing, I have unfortunately nearly forgotten about the world of editing despite it being one of my primary goals over the last two years with my writing. Unfortunately, I’ve never developed enough of a head start on my work to go back through and really rework things.
This is one of the things that is going into re-evaluating what I’m doing with my writing here on my blog. I’m still thinking through what I want to do. Actually, to be honest, I want to quit the post-a-day thing and focus on some better written works.
Uncharacteristically, I am afraid to do this.
I worry it might just mean me stopping dead in my tracts. It’s all great to say that I want to take more time to write more thoughtful and better edited posts, but when it comes down to it, I worry that I wont make the effort to actually put together the posts that I want. Or the posts will be too long to read.
A post a day for over a year and a half, and I still haven’t written the two articles I intended to write in the first month. But that’s life I suppose. Meanwhile I’ve had some pretty fantastic adventures.
I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten around to these posts, but perhaps, I’ll start writing them someday soon. Maybe I’ll just start taking the time for a few posts a week. I also really want to get involved with some conversations with other bloggers to generate ideas and responses.
But that’s me just taking look at what I am doing and attempting a drastic edit.