I’ve been neglecting this blog the past couple of months, so I apologize for the delay in updates! Post holidays, I had a lot of work projects, but I managed to fit in writing and editing for my own creative projects, too, which inspired the topic for this post:
Do you prefer writing the first draft or editing it later?
I’ve heard people on both sides of the fence. I love my wonderfully inspired moments when I’m first drafting a project, but those aren’t as frequent as I’d like, and most days I only write a very little. When I’m drafting, sometimes the task ahead of me can seem gargantuan, which can be a bit overwhelming. So unless I’m struck by that “magic” where I pump out thousands of words in a writing session instead of hundreds, I prefer editing.
Strangely, editing can be just as gargantuan a task as drafting—perhaps more so—but it doesn’t feel that way to me when I’m working. I have hundreds of pages of text to work with, to cut and slash and move around. And yes, to add to, but for some reason, even adding an entire chapter or two (or ten!) doesn’t seem so bad when I think, “Well, I’ve still got hundreds of pages here already!”
Editing never seems to end, really! (At least perhaps until it’s finally locked in and printed.) But it doesn’t seem too difficult a task because you’ve spent so much time in your world by the time you’re on draft two or five that you feel like it’s just a matter of fixing this or that, rather than scrapping everything and starting over completely.
…Which I hope I don’t have to do with one of my WIPs that seems profoundly broken, even though I’m in the last chapter or two. Sadly, editing isn’t always magic enough to fix things.
But in my work, I tend to prefer editing to writing, too, and I enjoyed my time as a writing tutor helping people improve their essays. That’s another reason I love beta reading, too!
4 thoughts on “Writing vs. Editing: Which Do You Prefer?”
I still prefer writing over editing, although when it’s an epic mess and I have to rewrite scenes as I’m writing, I do get frustrated, as you already know. ^^ I used to despise editing, but I’ve gotten over that. Still, there’s just something about the first draft that I love above everything else. That process of creating, of living in the world (to the point where I can’t function in the real world)… there’s nothing quite like it.
Drafting is just so hard for me. XD I see it come to life during editing. I wonder if the only way I was able to finish my first manuscript was because I lied to myself and thought I could take 40,000 words from that old manuscript (instead of the 5000-ish I wound up using!).
I love the writing when the characters take over and help (or lead). I love the editing when I can fill in thoughts, movement, description and round out the scene. I guess I’m still in love with the entire process of letting my mind create a new world.
That’s great that you love both! ^^ I love writing when it goes well. Those struggle-to-write-even-100-words days, not so much!