Welcome, authors! Today I’m sticking with my current theme of content edits: I’m getting a LOT of editing accomplished each day, and it’s making me happy. Thinking about HOW I’m being productive, I realized I’m building confidence by not spinning my wheels when a section gets tough.
Content edits are difficult, and they can be overwhelming. I mean, you’re looking at a host of scenes to add, to expand upon, and a multitude of characters to make consistent and to develop further.
The good thing is–and sometimes we get so drawn into one tough section it’s easy to forget–when you have SO MUCH to work on, you can take your pick of what to be working on.
I’m discovering how important it is to take advantage of that freedom.
JUMP, JUMP, JUMP…. JUMP AROUND
When a particular problem related to my draft feels off-putting, or I’m not sure what to do with it, I don’t waste writing time staring at the screen.
I go and edit elsewhere. I tackle a problem I do know how to solve, and later on, throughout the day, I think about possible solutions to the more complex issue.
I dig deep, asking myself: what’s the root of the problem? And how can I weed it out? What’s the best way to pull out the offending element?
I have yet NOT to figure out a solution within a day or two. And once I know what I need to do, when I next get time to write I find myself excited, rearing, and ready to tackle that draft. What’s better?
It’s not very often I feel excited about editing. Editing is, by far, the part of the writing process that feels most like work to me.
And somehow that “work” is feeling like fun. (Probably because I haven’t reached that stage where I’m sick of the story yet).
Now, in all fairness, I should admit it’s the second half of my story that will require the more sweeping changes.
- Still, I have fixed some MAJOR issues in the first half.
- I have tackled a lot of inconsistencies.
- I have made my plot more logical by changing some decisions characters make and whom they decide to share information with.
- I am slowly but surely getting my feel of the story and the characters, prep work to tackle the second half.
JUMPING AROUND, YOU FEEL ACCOMPLISHED. THAT IMPROVES YOUR MOOD. AND A HAPPY EDITOR IS A SUCCESSFUL EDITOR.
Best of all, by not stewing over one difficult section for an hour at a time, but waiting to jump in until I have a plan to dive in with, I’m making good use of my time and feeling confident in my abilities to make something of this draft.
Feeling a sense of accomplishment by getting SOMETHING done each day, and seeing marked improvement in my draft, is putting me in a positive mood and giving me a spur to think about the tough spots in my downtime.
So, all things considered, today’s post is a simple reminder that you don’t have to dwell on the problem areas of your draft that you don’t know what the heck to do with.
In fact, dwelling on them can be counterproductive. You can improve your mindset–and engage your creativity–by working on other things instead.
Think of it like housework: if you’ve got to clean the kitchen, sweep the floors, and do laundry, you can start at any point. If you don’t feel like starting with the kitchen, it’s stupid to sit and dwell on how much you don’t want to clean the kitchen. Start some laundry instead.
Have you found that jumping around when you edit helps you like it’s helping me? Or are you a “steadily progress through the draft” kind of person?
Feel free to share your thoughts and your experience below! And if you enjoyed this post, you might want to sign up to follow my blog by email at the top right of the page.
- How to make the most of your writing time
- Shaking up your writing routine
- Creative Writing Workshop: Breaking Down Content Edits
- Taking Brainstorming One Step Farther To Aid In Editing