I had a great call with my Write Better Faster coach today about why I always get tripped up on editing and feedback. Some people hate a blank page, and some people hate editing. It often varies because of your strengths. I’m really writing this blog post for myself, so I can remember it when I hit this pain point again. Mind you, I’m solid at editing other people’s stuff, it’s just my own that throws me.
But let me share the whys:
- I hate editing because I’m highly strategic, and I like to avoid pain. Can’t I just brush through the high-level stuff and fix it all at that level rather than dwell in the details where the pain points are. I don’t want to take down and rebuild the scaffolding. And I’m learning I can’t expect the reader to follow my or the character’s thinking but need to show how I or they got there.
- I’m a high activator. I just want to start the next thing and put more words on the page, I don’t want to stick around with something that’s already been done. What’s the new fun thing?
- I like things very black and white. I think to know the target or goal and achieve it. Editing is more subjective, and I struggle with looking at long-form fiction of my own and knowing that what I’ve done is right or wrong, better or worse. So my #1 strength of self-assurance takes a backseat. I need to trust my gut but also lean into my trusted closest friends who can help me to grow.
- I’m a maximizer, and the book and the writing will never ever be “good enough” in my eyes. I take the feedback, and rather then realizing its nuances, I often think I need to make sweeping changes, which is not what is always necessary to improve.
- I’m a relator, which means I only really trust a close ring of people. In the past, I’ve taken feedback from too many sources, and then what I created lost my voice.
Ultimately, I’ve learned deadlines are my friend. They force me to move forward, accept what is good enough, limit my circle of feedback, and to force me to get it done despite the pain while fulfilling my need to move forward. It may not be black and white, but eventually, I have to trust myself and my self-assurance and move on with it.
So when I’m back here in a couple of months editing my first book–remind me to re-read this post, apply a deadline, push through and get a move on. Thank you, friends!
Anyhow, quick progress update: I’m in the midst of edits of my short story going up for pre-sale in an anthology very soon! One of the best ways to support your writer friends is to buy books when they’re up for pre-sale to help push the algorithms to serve the book to more people! And next, it’s back to my first book and attacking those edits.
As always, thanks for your love and support. It means the world to me.