Monday, March 14, 2016

5 Reasons to Love Editing

Writing a first draft makes my heart soar.

Editing makes my brain sore. Writing muscles are stretched taut and leave me with more pain than an hour at the local gym.

I have a confession. Exercising at the gym ranks just below a doctor visit, but the benefits keep me plugging away 2-3 times per week. The same holds true for editing. Yes, I like the end results, but not the process.

How do I get an attitude adjustment, especially when I should be editing my latest manuscript right now? Let's think about all the positive aspects of polishing that book or article:

1.  It will give me a better shot at another book contract.

2.  The possibility of rave reviews and sales grows with each re-written phrase or grammar correction.

3.  Knowing I've done my best gives me a sense of accomplishment.

4.  Giving readers a great story and a beautifully written book shows respect for their intelligence.

5.  Excellence honors God.

Okay, that last one got me. As a believer, I'm His representative to the world. If I put out a shoddy product, what does that say about the One I serve. My most important goal is to honor Him in all I say and do.

For readers, who are also believers, our love for them shines through when we give them a professional story. We're not merely entertaining them, we're ministering via our words.

As I'm writing and editing, I'll be praying for all those who will read my books. Perhaps my efforts will then be a labor of love rather than a dreaded task.

Writers: Do you prefer editing to writing or vice versa? Please share.

Readers: When you read a well-written book, how does it make you feel?

Photo Credit:  Andrew Beirle


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - a good book, well written, is such a pleasure ... I get so irritated by poor grammar from professionals ... just shouldn't happen - but people don't edit carefully enough - I can imagine the brain gets tired. Good luck .. cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

I like the writing process best. Although the editing stage isn't my favorite, I don't hate it, and I know that I am closer to submitting! :)

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

When I am in a flow with writing I love it :) Editing... hmm, not so much fun. But you are right, it gives a feeling of accomplishment. I have gone through my latest manuscript so many times, and I am really wondering how people do it, who write books that are 300 pages or so...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary - As a reader, I share your enjoyment of a well-written book. It's difficult to edit your own work. I'm thankful for critique partners and the editor I just used recently.

Hi Karen - I don't know about close to submitting. I'm not quite half way through the edits for my latest manuscript. It feels like it's taking forever.

Hi Marja - Me too! By the time I finish editing, I don't want to look at my manuscript. My brain is saturated.

quietspirit said...

Susan: I love the writing phase of the craft. I consider editing a necessary evil--it has to be done.

Anonymous said...

I love the process of writing the story and I used to enjoy editing--until I took a nasty turn with my first novel and can't seem to find a way out. Now I don't like editing my own work, just other people's. :P