My thoughts on writing tips found online and in published works (with some random thoughts thrown into the mix).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Editing - The Hard Part

I have been a very lucky person, in that editing has always come rather easily to me. I had a proficiency for spelling in elementary school, to the point that my second grade teacher let me come up with my own list because the regular list was too easy. My mom would have me correct her letters and other written notes constantly and got annoyed when I would correct her grammar while we talked. I always had a passion for English classes throughout high school and, when I went to college, my original major was Secondary English Education. While I ended up changing my major quite a few times, adding another major and then dropping both, I always had English as the core focus. I finally settled on being a Creative Writing major, which allowed me to learn even more about editing and to really perfect my technique.

Now, Creative Writing majors usually want to be the writers. They want to make their own work, sell it, and get their own words out there in the hands of others. I never really had this dream. I played with it for a bit, but I never really was dedicated to this idea. Somehow, my head always knew that editing was my real destiny. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy writing my own work, but it's only a side hobby that I delve into occasionally, with no real intent on taking it further than my own notebook. Instead, I live for taking apart the work of others, of strengthening it, sometimes cutting it to pieces, and making it the best it could possibly be. I proofread and give structural pointers, but my most important job is to make sure that the reader can really connect with what they are reading.

With the level of excitement and joy I get from doing this, you would think I would be eager to do it all the time. However, I am like a lot of people, in that it's difficult for me to actually sit down and do the work. I think about it and my mind exaggerates how much work it is. I have to force myself to pick up the manuscript and a pen and get down to it. Once I get started, I am in love with it, but the initial "getting down to business" phase is hard.

After thinking about this recently, I have decided to ask if anyone else out there has this problem. Writers, does it take a lot of discipline to sit down to a blank page every day? Artists, do you beat around the bush before finally picking up your instrument of choice? If you do have a similar problem, how do you defeat it?

No comments:

Post a Comment