Any longtime followers of this blog will know that I am bad at editing and rewriting. I don’t like doing it. I think most writers have a bit of hate towards the editing process, which is dumb because it’s a massive part of what we do. We write, and then rewrite, rewrite, edit, edit, rewrite, you get it. Editing is important.
Editing for people like me that really can’t afford a professional editor is difficult. Having a professional streamlines the process because they are… well, a professional.
I have to be able to edit. It’s important. I need to do it now, and even if I am more successful and able to hire help, I will still have to do it then. Writers have to be editors, such is life.
My issue now is knowing when to stop rewriting and editing. I am working on the 4th draft of a current project, one I hope to have completed in the near future, but I can’t put a date on when exactly because I don’t know when to stop editing.
I either do it way too little, one of the first things I ever published online I pretty much did the first draft and called it a day. Or I just keep reworking and reworking until I go mad.
The truth is in rewrites and editing; there is always something. Something can be changed, something that can be fixed, no matter how many drafts you go through, no matter how many times, you will ALWAYS find just one more thing.
It can get to the point where you rework a story so much it barely even resembles what it started out as in the first place,
At some point, you have to stop. Have to say, okay this is the final draft. But this requires being satisfied with your work, or at least satisfied enough that you’ll stop.
That can be so hard, especially when you are like most writers and just hate everything you do.
I already struggle with editing, but adding that the end goal has to be “okay I am comfortable enough to share this” just makes that mountain seem so much harder to climb,
So when do you stop editing/rewriting?
It’s more of a rhetorical question, although I wouldn’t turn my nose up at any answers. I know it’s something that I have to learn to cope with and not allow my self-doubts and general avoidance to keep me from doing. I know I will have to get better at understanding when the editing process is over. It can be damn hard sometimes.
So I hope with this project I will know when to stop, and that I will reach that point soon. I hope with each future project it gets a little bit easier. I hope I can stop doubting myself so much that I avoid the process less. I hope to be a better writer, not just in the content I produce, but how I do it.
In the meantime though… why can’t we all just write perfect first drafts?!?!? LOL