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?


Writing Advice

Writing Advice-It only gets harder. That's why you have to get better.


National Dance Day—What Writing And Dance Have In Common

Today is July 27 meaning it is National Dance Day. As a writer and dancer I find both of these hobbies are similar in many ways. Lessons you learn in writing can be applied to dance and vice-versa.

Writers and dancers practice, they see it through even though it’s tough, continue to commit tremendous amounts of time, are constantly criticized, and have the ultimately goal of getting better.

National Dance Day

  • Both require practice. A dancer uses muscles in their body day in and day out and writing is like that too. Your creativity muscle needs to be exercised as often as possible. When you stop exercising every day, your muscles get rusty. When this happens it is much harder to get back into the swing of things. If you take a hiatus from writing and dancing, returning to work is much harder. The more you practice, the easier things become.
  • It is hard. Natural ability and talent will only get you so far in the writing or dancing industry. Realize it will hurt for a while. You might be working on a novel for years or going to dance class for months. That’s a part of life, a part of the process. Go into training with the mindset that things will be tough because nothing worth doing is ever a walk in the park.
  • Writing and dancing are huge time commitments. This is especially true if or when you become serious about it. Professional dancers, no doubt, spend much of their time perfecting a routine. Serious writers commit hours every day to their craft. But once you start to love it, time flies by. Before you know it, half your day is already gone.
  • Writers and dancers need to be thick skinned. You’re putting yourself out there to be criticized and judged by hundreds, thousands, potentially millions of people. If you can’t take the heat these professions aren’t right for you. Besides, how can you expect to please everybody? There will always be people who don’t like you. But don’t concentrate on what others think. What is most important is what you think.
  • You can get better. That said, the path to improvement is solely based on you. If you keep doing what you are doing, doing the bare minimum, don’t complain when you don’t get the results you want. If you are serious about getting better, push yourself beyond your expectations and limitations.

To learn more about National dance day check out http://dizzyfeetfoundation.org/national-dance-day. If you’re interested you could even learn two dance routines. You don’t need to be amazing, you just have to be willing to try. Which is kind of like writing too.

There you have it: 5 things writing and dancing have in common. Go out there today, in the spirit of National Dance Day, and dance. You might learn a thing or two about writing while you’re at it.