Self Editing

I hate editing my own work. It’s one of those things that makes me cringe. I do not know if something I once thought was funny or brilliant is cliched or irrelevant.

Tim Gunn on Project Runway told the parable of a guy in the monkey’s cage. When he first gets there he thinks it stinks. As the guy spends more time, the monkey dung smells less offensive til the point it is almost tolerable. I do not know if/when I work hard on my book how long technically I have been in the monkey cage, if I am there at all.

In my fantasies, I would love to write and write and writer and then have a professional editor read through all of my musings and tell me what to tighten, what to kill, what links need to be written or rewritten, a reality check on how to shape up my story. I suppose writing coaches do that for nice sums of cash.

Since I am not as successful as I would like as a writer, I must wade through my drafts and put pen to paper again. I have reminded myself that it is much easier to edit a sloppy draft than a blank sheet of paper which is true. And naturally time offers some objectivity. I cringe less the more distance that has passed between the actual writing and the editing (assuming I like the draft.) My distaste for some sections may manifest more strongly as time elapses.

And then of course there is the whole critiquing aspect. But I’ll comment on that at a later date.


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