Editing · Writing

What’s The Easiest And Hardest Part Of The Creative Process?

What’s the easiest part of the creative process?

Nothing.

Making time to write. I may be in the minority here, but that’s because I don’t do a lot of other things. I don’t watch movies. I don’t play video games. So on and so forth.

I’m also stubborn, so I will fight anyone or anything that gets between me and my writing time.

With editing, the final round is much easier than the first.

I love having time to write and edit. So I try to give myself plenty of it.

What’s the hardest part of the creative process?

Everything.

For me, getting through the middle is the hardest.

Beginnings are fun and exciting. I love the honeymoon phase of any project.

But overcoming the halfway hump has been my biggest obstacle. If I can grind out the middle, the ending isn’t too bad.

I’m really bad at finishing stories. Like shockingly bad. Over the years, I’ve gotten worse rather than better. My patience is practically nonexistent nowadays.

When it comes to edits, starting is tough.

Hence why I have many written but unedited drafts.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to push myself through these hurdles.

I suppose nothing really comes easy. Words don’t write or edit themselves unfortunately.

Writing

Advice On Finishing A First Draft

Am I the best person to give advice on finishing a first draft? No. Will that stop me from preaching what I don’t practice? Nope.

Take a break.

For my first novel, I took a long hiatus but eventually got around to finishing it.

Just make sure you actually return to your unfinished manuscript at some point.

Edit or proofread.

Sometimes, I’d rather edit than write. My mood bosses me around.

Again, you can fall into the trap of only editing your half-finished manuscript rather than writing the ending to it. Hopefully, making edits will get so painful that you choose the lesser of two evils.

Talk to someone.

We all need a friend who will listen to our problems.

You don’t even have to talk about writing. Perhaps all you need is a little bit of encouragement.

I wish you the best of luck in finishing your first drafts. It’s not an easy feat, but the feeling is like none other.

If you have any advice, feel free to tell me. I need all the help I can get.

Productivity

I Need To Stop Procrastinating Right Now

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t procrastinate. But I live in an imperfect world and I’m an imperfect human being.

I delay. I put things off. And when the deadline nears, my stress levels skyrocket.

Even though I’m someone who hates leaving things to the last minute, I don’t always start early enough.

At least when I procrastinate, I try to be somewhat productive. Instead of doing the thing I should, I’ll do something else like clean. It’s not as urgent as an essay due in three days, but I’ll still take cleaning over writing. Or editing. Don’t even get me started on edits.

I find it interesting how much better I’ve gotten at procrastinating over the years. I guess I’ve had a lot of practice. For some reason, I didn’t put things off as much in high school. Then I went to university and everything changed.

I procrastinate with blogging all the time. I can’t help it.

When I was younger, I used to be more of a morning person, so I procrastinated less.

Nowadays, I stay up later and do most of my creative writing later in the day, which means I procrastinate until I can’t.

Blogging · Writing

My Blog Post Writing Process

My blog post writing process has changed a lot over the years. As of right now, I have a routine That works well enough for me.

Writing

I handwrite most of my posts with a pen and a notepad. I tend to talk about whatever’s on my mind, so I don’t really need to research beforehand.

Transcribing

Next, I transcribe my hand written posts. I used to type them up word for word, but now I use the voice dictation feature on my phone.

Editing

Finally, I edit a post until I’m happy with it. Of course, nothing is ever perfect. But I try to aim for clarity. I also like being concise, so I tend to delete a lot. Time is valuable, which is why I’d hate to waste mine. More importantly, I would hate to waste yours.

I don’t say this often enough, but I truly appreciate each and everyone of you who stops by my blog. Thanks for reading!

Editing

How To Silence Your Inner Editor

There are times you need to write, which means you somehow have to silence your inner editor. Unfortunately, that’s a lot easier said than done.

Below is all my bad advice on how to silence him or her.

Tell your editor to shut up. Put your foot down.

Ask nicely. If being mean doesn’t work, try being polite?

Don’t do anything. Sometimes not forcing the issue is the best thing you can do.

Embrace the obnoxious editor. Befriend him or her.

Ignore. Hopefully they can take a hint. Or at least learn to.

Blast music. Turn the volume up. Careful you don’t shatter your ear drums in the process.

Listen. Maybe your head is trying to tell you something. After you hear yourself out, maybe your inner editor will finally stop bothering you. One can hope.

Lock them in a cage and throw the key away. Or just imagine doing so.

Practice. Just keep writing.

Never write another word in your life. Non-writers don’t have to deal with annoying inner editors, right? It doesn’t seem like such a bad life.

Editing

My Editing Process

I’ve edited essays until my eyes hurt, so I figured I’d break down my process to better understand how I operate. For those moments I don’t remember what to do when faced with a terrible first draft.

I tend to start from the beginning and work my way to the end. It seems the most logical to me.

I’m not sure where I’d even begin if I didn’t start with the first sentence. That being said, reading backwards is a good strategy to catch spelling mistakes.

When I’m on the computer, I make content changes. This involves cutting, rewriting, as well as moving ideas around. It’s just easier to copy and paste on a computer than on a phone.

I make edits to the content first before I get to the mechanics or the smaller but still significant details like grammar. Once I’m happy with the placement of each sentence, I move on to making everything sound better.

I almost always take a break to get away from my slightly-improved-but-still-needs-plenty-of-improvement essays. I think about anything else in the world not related to editing.

I come back with a fresher pair of eyes and a re-energized mind.

Then I do technical edits on my phone. It’s convenient because I bring my device with me everywhere I go, so I can access my essays all the time.

I play with words until I find the perfect one. Two seconds later, I resign myself to the fact that perfection is impossible. Again, I work in a chronological fashion.

I know I’m done when I try to change something but end up liking the original better. I came up with a new title once, but I ultimately went with the old one.

Editing is a time-consuming process. There aren’t any corners you can cut. Just do your best. Who knows, you may even surprise yourself when all is said and done.

Editing

My Problem With Peer And Self Review

Let me start by saying I love one and hate the other. Care to hazard a guess?

In high school, I hated peer review sessions. Who doesn’t jump with joy at exchanging work with classmates and giving feedback for improvement?

I didn’t get a lot of helpful or useful comments from others. People tossed my essay back and told me it was perfect. I fumed inside because I knew my first draft was not even close to perfection. Imagine a world where first drafts were great.

I almost always came out of peer review workshops feeling a bit frustrated. OK, a lot.

Even though I tried my best to give constructive criticism, some people didn’t reciprocate. I don’t blame them. More than any other institution, I feel like in high school people are at a completely different level on their journey. Don’t get me started with teenage maturity.

To be fair, editing is hard. Giving feedback isn’t a walk in the park. But I guess what bothered me the most was the people who didn’t take it seriously. I can picture fourteen year old me making comments and suggestions while everyone else around me talked about whatever high schoolers talk about. I grew up fast.

Obviously, the more I edit other people’s work, the better I am at reviewing my own work. That said, I can’t look at my writing the same way someone else can. Still, I should charge a premium anytime someone asks me for feedback.

I’ve never given much thought as to what I think about when editing my own work.

I care about consistency and clarity whenever I’m critiquing. I also love brevity as much as the best blog reader. Wordiness will likely be the death of me.

Ever since I’ve learned about parallel structure, I’m careful around lists. This ties in with consistency to an extent. If you have two verbs in your list, I don’t want to see a noun phrase at the end of it. That’s guaranteed to drive me crazy.

Shout out to all the writers who have amazing flow. I aspire to write like you. Because I never outline, my first drafts are a hot mess.

Surprise, I’m such a stickler for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Sometimes the small details make the biggest difference. But I like rule breakers within reason. I’m one myself. Tough to get around not doing things by the book in academia though.

Editing

Why Editing Is Hard Work

Even though I love writing, I don’t know if I love editing.

It’s messy. It’s hard work. And that’s why I’m a hardcore procrastinator anytime I have to make my first drafts better.

I tend to leave comments telling other bloggers their poem or post is well-written. Maybe what I really ought to say is they’re well-edited. After all, first drafts are ugly. How do you make them beautiful? You clean them. Fix the mistakes, the errors.

How time-consuming, huh? I’d argue that sometimes it takes more time to edit than it does to write. At least in my experience.

I don’t know if I’d call myself a perfectionist, but I am quite particular with words. I’m constantly looking for a better one.

With writing, I try not to worry about being perfect. I focus as much as I can on getting my thoughts or ideas down. Dump the contents on my mind onto the page.

I’ve gotten better at separating writing from editing. They’re two separate processes. They’re tough enough to do on their own. So imagine trying to write and edit at the same time.

I procrastinate editing for obvious reasons. It’s a lot of work, especially if I know I wrote an exceptionally terrible first draft.

I think editing requires more energy than writing. Maybe energy isn’t the right word. Editing asks more, demands more. You need to be alert and attentive rather than divide your attention or try to multi-task.

I like writing later in the day when I’m tired. In the mornings, I feel more awake, less exhausted, so I’ll edit. Besides, I catch mistakes better when my eyes aren’t threatening to close on me.

Just like writing, editing in my opinion is toughest at the start, usually right before you begin. But the more you edit, the better your piece will be. And the closer you’ll get to being done with editing and moving back into the magical phase of writing.

Do you find editing hard? If so, why?