Editor’s block – the flip side.

I finished the first draft of my book (hooray!). I immediately, and foolishly, started to edit it (boo!).

It doesn’t work – switching from writing to editing. I guess it’s the brain thing. The right side is supposed to be the creative part, the left the home of the analytical, logical and verbal reasoning. I’m wondering if focussing all my efforts in one half – the creative writer – then switching to an analytical nit picking role is simply not something I can do quickly or easily.  I’m somewhat in awe of editors who can dive into the text and pick up on things my eye has glossed over in my haste to capture the tidal wave of creativity spilling out of my right side. The left side goes into panic mode, spotting things, but unable to be heard over the rush of neurones firing off on the other side. Eventually, the poor thing gets drowned out.

Then, weeks later, she doesn’t want to come out to work. She’s ticked off, hiding somewhere – you should have paid attention to me earlier – she snips. I coax her, reminding her she is important – those grammatical errors, plot inconsistencies, shifts in style – they all need a diligent, analytical eye.

Of course, now that she is out and thinking hard, my creative friend is in hibernation. So new ideas will have to wait. Not a problem, I’ve loads of research to do for this new project. In the meantime, out comes the correction pen (yep, I’m a pen and paper person) and on goes the nit picking half of the brain.

How do you switch? Do you love to edit or hate it?

writing quote

 

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2 comments

  1. It’s definitely hard to switch between the two – especially if you’ve just finished the creative part. But many times as I’m editing I see where I’ve been waaay to verbose and I end up getting a charge out of tightening up the prose in a way that still captures the scene I wrote. Hope your editing is going well!

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    1. My editing is slow. Those little niggling doubts creep in about a particular scene and I grind to halt. I found using Scrivener helps break it into manageable chunks. Things will pick up once the kids are back at school. Hope you’re keeping well.

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