Why I Hate Editing my Own Work

I’m an editor and you know what? I hate editing my own work.

I’m an editor and you know what? I hate editing my own work.

There, I said it. I admitted it.

I fucking hate editing my own work.

It’s why a lot of my blog posts go up on the first go. There’s no rewrites, there are checks for spelling mistakes like a day later (or a week later…whoops), but there is no major editing. Maybe that’s why people who commented on my Huffington Post article called me illiterate or maybe they just couldn’t understand my conversationalist tone? Who knows, who actually cares? Initially, it was upsetting but I gave up on caring. The faceless names don’t know the work that went into posting that blog.

I’m proud of it.

But I’m digressing a little here.

I can happily cut, slash, comment and edit on clients works. Depending on where I am on my cycle my filter to be really polite about what I’m editing changes. I’m lucky that majority of my clients I’ve had so far have been friends and understand me and my personality, but it is something I’m working on.

When it comes to my own writing…I can’t fucking stand editing the words.

I don’t expect liquid gold, I don’t even expect good because that would be too easy and my ego isn’t that inflated.

There are so many writers that are around me that enjoy hacking and slashing and rewording their stories, I wish I was one of them, but sadly I’m not.

I find any kind of revision a hard uphill battle that involves trudging through mud and getting shin splits not even a quarter of the way up the hill and even then I’d actually prefer to endure that sort of pain without having to actually do the edits. I wish I could say I was joking, but there is no room for jokes when it comes to editing.

I think it’s because my ability to look at the words I’ve written objectively after a short period of time is like the shivers people get from the sound of nails on a chalkboard.

There’s this agonising annoyance over finding something that needs editing because it’s not quite right, but you can’t find the words to make it write. There’s such a fine line about pushing through the mud to get to the other side. Sometimes it’s anticlimactic and sometimes it’s actually fist pumping brilliance because you managed to score through the pain and get through to the other side of brilliance.

I am, in no shape or form, saying that editing is easy or that it’s bad. I’m just saying that I’m bad at editing my own words. Looking at the same thing over and over again is like waiting and willing to find a way to make it all just magically rework itself without me touching it.

Looking back at that, it makes me seem like I’m afraid of getting my hands dirty, I’m not. I love to get in there, but I loathe the excruciating pain that comes with editing my own work. My body puts up all of the stops and then my mind gets me out of the work by asking me to procrastinate and my body will happily take up that opportunity to do so.

Because running away from something painful is what I tend to do best, maybe I’ll learn that sitting in the edits will make me a better writing.

I am a gun at looking at words of others. I can pick out the mistakes and the clunky sentences without having to mull over the placement of that work and what not. I can sit in their mistakes and find, niggle them free and give them advice on how to fix what isn’t working because at the end of the day that’s my job: to help fix what isn’t working and make it better for them.

Maybe it’s time to use my own editing checklist and find myself an editor who will be able to make my works sparkle, just as I make the words of my clients sparkle.

I want to know if you love or hate edits and why, because it’s always interesting to see if people agree with how much I hate it or whether or not disagree.

Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.

One Comment

Leave a Dream Note

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.