Thursday, 27 February 2014

Greetings from the Editing Cave

Good writing is all in the editing.

I firmly believe that. I also firmly believe that I came up with it all by myself, but in reality I probably stole it from somewhere without even realising. Either way, it's become something of a mantra for me over the past five years.*

The thing is, I've always hated editing. Really hated it. Even at school, I wouldn't look over a piece of work before I handed it in. In exams, I wouldn't even glance over my answers unless there was a teacher glaring at me. It wasn't confidence in my answers, in some natural ability to always get things perfect on the very first try (as much as I wish it was). I simply preferred to stare into space or watch the clock.

Funny thing is, I'm deep into edits on a novel I wrote about six months ago. And for the first time in my life, I'm loving it. It isn't as much fun as drafting, and it doesn't entirely fulfil my need for a creative outlet, but it sure is fun to cross through entire chapters with my bright blue pen. I've been brutal, and it's been brilliant.

I'm hoping this is a sign** that this particular manuscript has potential. That previously I've shied away from editing because I didn't believe my writing was worth fixing up. I'm hoping that, maybe one day, this manuscript will be good enough to send out into the world.

*I say something of a mantra because it really bugs me when people say they have a mantra or a motto. Don't know why, but it does. I used to have a catchphrase, but mantras are unacceptable.

** Ugh, I also dislike when people say something is a sign.

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