The trouble with editing is that it never seems to end. I remember, back in school, in my writing workshop classes, we put so much focus into the initial creation, that I consciously and subconsciously regarded editing as some lower strata of writing.

Editing is probably as important, if often more important, than the initial act of word vomit. The shaping, the directing, the perfecting, all key to making the story actually work.

However, the biggest problem with the act of editing is that it never seems to end. I write something, edit it, edit it again, put it aside a year and edit it again, and each time I look at the writing, I want to edit it. There is never a satisfactory end. There is always room for improvement. When do we sit ourselves aside and say, “dude, we’re done. Enough.”

I’m no Raymond Carver, nowhere close, but I can understand his weakness when it came to the rewrite. “Cathedral” is the perfect short story, yet one that he continuously edited throughout his life. Perhaps it is perfect because he didn’t give up on it. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been the great story it is if he hadn’t stopped tinkering with the innards.

The trouble with editing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *