Half of writing is rewriting, isn’t that what they say? I know that when I write and have to edit what I have written, I often fall into a place where I find that I edit enough that I start to dislike my whole story. I am a planner and like to outline and write out my thoughts as I write or prior to starting. I find that I will often have an idea for an ending and write that down, then I will begin writing and change it so I will write a new one or change what I already wrote. I find that I often rewrite, as I am still writing, which is part of my problem. Can we edit too much? Is that the problem?
I have yet to complete my first novel, but slowly it is coming along. I am expanding a short story I was almost finished writing, but now I am having to read as I write my first draft. I have enjoyed actually being able to expand what I already had, because it allows me to do some edits and corrections without having to just go through to edit. So when really is the best time to edit? I have a bad tendency to start and stop writing so often I am writing something I have not touched for a couple months. It must all start with disciple. We must be disciplined regardless of if it is word count, pages, paragraphs, whatever it might be, we need to make a goal and stick to it. If we make a goal and stick to it, it will allow us to write, complete and edit rather than a continuous edit.
Writing is a process and we all have to find what works best for us, but we also have to realize that despite needing a well edited story, we need a complete one. Maybe we shouldn’t focus so much on the final project, but just allow ourselves to be immersed in the project. We can only edit after what we write to begin with. We should allow ourselves the joy to create and then after we have a finished product, then we think about how we need to market it and how we need to fix it, or edit it, in order to make it most productive.
What is your editing strategy? Do you edit as you write and if you do, how do you not get driven insane by your words? Does your planning of writing, if you do plan, help you stay on track and does it change as you write your story? What tips do you have for writers? What is your plan for writing, do you go by words, pages or something else? Please share with us, I would love to hear from everyone to help guide my own writing as well as anyone else who might be reading.