Is Editing Considered Writing?

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After spending a few hours editing, that’s the question that comes to my mind. I’m moving sections around, correcting grammar mistakes and looking for tense changes. I’ve not written but a few words that I’ve inserted here and there. I’ve deleted two whole paragraphs because they interrupt the flow and are not germane to the story.

Answering the question of whether I’m doing writing, I would say no. However, I realized I had completely forgotten to write about a significant event that is very relevant. Next thing you know, I’ve got over 1,000 words written and still haven’t finished the section. Now the answer is definitely yes, I am writing.

Upon reflection, I realized that it didn’t matter whether I added the section. Editing is writing. It’s a part of the writing process. Sometimes it’s easy and pretty straightforward. Other times it becomes very difficult. Especially when I notice that I’m using the same word over and over in my manuscript. Now I’ve got to figure out alternatives that actually make sense. Sometimes that requires rewriting the sentence completely.

Editing is a love/hate stage for me. I enjoy making my sentences perfect, or at the very least almost perfect. It’s a joy to see a sentence that doesn’t look right and after revising the sentence to look back on it and see the transformation. I also hate editing as it takes time and does get tedious. Frustrations arise when I see a passage that clearly needs to be reworked, but no matter how many different ways I write it, the paragraph still looks amiss.

I tend to want to rush the editing. I’ll read and reread the story multiple times and it looks great to me. Then I set it aside and work on something else for a while (like writing this post). I go back and read the tale again and see things I’ve been missing that need to be corrected. This takes time and I want to get feedback now, not later. I’ll send it to someone I trust and when I get the comments back on it, I’m always amazed I missed what is obviously wrong.

Editing takes at least as long as the time I spent writing the story, usually twice as long. One day I’ll embrace that concept and develop the patience to self-edit the composition fully before sending it off for critique.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I may be doing editing all wrong. There has got to be an easier way. Maybe I should have paid more attention in my college writing classes.

1 thought on “Is Editing Considered Writing?

  1. Pingback: *Press This* Is Editing Considered Writing? #213 | Its good to be crazy Sometimes

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