Turning a writing habit into an editing habit because they are two different processes but with habit crossover, here’s how.
“The first draft reveals the art; revision reveals the artist.”Michael Lee
There are gifts to be found in the editing process.
For those of you deep into the editing weeds, feel free to stop rolling your eyes at your screen, I’m being serious. Editing has a distinct set of gems to be found.
A book writing habit and book editing habit are two different creatures – creatively, structurally, energetically, in terms of goals, and in several other ways. I feel like so many authors get quite frustrated by the editing process because they’re constantly comparing and contrasting it to the writing experience.
They’re not the same thing. They’re not meant to be the same thing.
And this is good news! We already know about the gifts of the writing phase – discovering new ideas, writing beautifully messy brain dump rough drafts, experimenting, and playing. There are gems to be uncovered in editing as well.
Through a fresh set of eyes during editing, you have the opportunity to cut all the things you see that don’t need to be there. Then, you can look at what remains and get to work shaping it into something great.
During editing, you get to fine tune your writing skills, dig into your writing toolbox, challenge yourself, and be the impressive wordsmith that you are. And if you’re not currently feeling particularly impressive right now, don’t worry – you are.
You have writing skills and knowledge that you might not be aware of – from the experience of writing your rough draft, and before that, from a lifetime of reading works by others. You know what works and what doesn’t, and you have a vision for the final product. Editing, like creating an exquisite sculpture, is chipping away at everything that doesn’t fit that vision.
Editing Habit Pro Tip:
Just as you did when writing your book, have a clear plan of attack. If you make the mistake of diving feet first into the editing phase without a plan, you could quickly find yourself drowning in an endless vat of quicksand. Without a plan, every time you open your manuscript, you will find 50 new things to edit. I promise. You will get lost and frustrated. There is no finish line in this situation. Have a clear plan of attack, deadlines, and objectives for each editing session to avoid drowning in the quicksand.
Also, check out my full 5 step self-editing process.
Need my expert eyes on your complete rough draft manuscript before you launch into the editing phase? I can help you create your “Master Edits List” with specific, actionable solutions to your manuscript’s biggest challenges, walk you through the editing process, and overall, give you a plan to bring your manuscript from good to great! Let’s chat about my Editorial Analysis Service.
Here’s what one satisfied client said after receiving her Editorial Analysis:
“Christine’s feedback is so insightful and makes the process so much less painful. It was worth every cent to have her feedback on my draft and opinions about the way forward for my book!”