Taking time to review and revise all those words, sentences, and paragraphs as an author is either a part of the writing process that is enjoyable or not, mostly it falls in somewhere in between. For myself, I have had to learn not mixing the creative writing process up with my editing process.
At Highlights Chautauqua 2011, writer and editor, Andy Gutelle gave a wonderful talk on self-editing that really helped me to take my writing to the next level. My next several blogs will be dedicated to what I am calling Self-Editing, the Andy Way. What I am sharing is coming from 4 pages of notes that I took so the information is more about what I heard than necessarily what Andy said.
Editing is a personal process. Everyone has they’re own way or style, likes and dislikes. What works for one writer does not always work for someone else. I found it helpful to add some of what I learned to what I already do to create a system that works for me.
Editing should not begin until you are done writing. This is a hard one for me because I like to change words as soon as another one pops in my head that I like. I think this is really part of my creative process as a very random thinker. Words and ideas pop into my head from what seems like nowhere. For others, this could be editing or changing things that are part of the creative process. Which way is it for you? I think it is good to know if you are creating or getting in your own way.
Writing is creative, subjective, personal, sub-conscious art that involves no questioning about what is getting put down. Editing is the objective, non-personal, conscious craft that involves questioning everything.
So why don’t you join me as I start my next picture book and write, write, write. At the end of next week, tune in and see the first steps in Self-Editing, the Andy Way.