Editing paralysis

Hey guys, it has been a while hasn’t it? Well I would love to say it was because I have been writing just too much…but this is an honest space. Truth be told I haven’t been writing very much at all. I am suffering from what I am coining ‘editing paralysis’. If the name isn’t obvious enough, it is the state of being so afraid to edit…that you don’t.

Some time ago I wrote a first draft of a novel I quite liked. It still doesn’t have a title but the bulk of the initial work is all done. 37 chapters and around 60 thousand words. I have been through a few times and done some line editing. I had put in place holder names which needed taking out and many typos to be corrected. Though that is all good and well that is not, by any means, the whole of what editing is.

I got myself a few beta readers to go through and give me their thoughts. I read them, I cried for a few days and complained about the darlings they tried to kill…then I was ready. I was there, I was prepped, I….did nothing. Looking at the layout and deciding if all the chapters are in the right place. If all the chapters are even needed. If there is more character development needed here and there. Did I really explain how that happened? All of these things just seemed suddenly terrifying. Like if I started to change things then it might break. All my hardwork might somehow be undone.

My logical brain knows that is not the case but my writers brain wont stop telling me it is. It is telling me that I should writer for myself, not for the readers. A wise man once explained to me why that just isn’t right though. Writers are, by nature, the most narcisistic of all aritsts. We write on some level because we enjoy it. We right on MOST other levels because we want OTHER PEOPLE to read it. That is the blunt truth and if I ever want anyone to read this book…I need to consider what the reader wants.

I am hoping to use this admittance of fear to you, my lovely reader, to prompt some action. This post is my attempt at making myself acountable. I have written down that I need to edit and now I NEED to edit. Because at some point someone is going to say ‘Hey…did you edit that book yet?’ and I better be able to say yes.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the editing process. How about you folks? Have any of you experienced this fear of editing? If so please share your experiences down below.

Ja Ne.

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