in Musings

On the Writing Process

I’ve found that I greatly enjoy the process of writing, but the more tedious aspect of writing well is editing. If every article I wrote took a total of 10 hours (to keep it simple), I’d estimate I spend only 2 hours actually writing and 8 hours editing. In the editing process, I go through line by line, word by word, asking myself if this is the right word in this sentence, or how could I break up this chunk of text, or should I move this paragraph before that one, and so on. Sometimes I’ll spend a good ten minutes just looking up the right word to insert in a particular sentence. It’s quite an ordeal, and I think it’s one of the reasons why I have so many half-finished drafts sitting in folders everywhere. Getting my thoughts on in a quick ramble is easy, but when it comes to trying to articulate precisely what I wanted to say, and doing so effectively in a terse manner, I freeze. I suppose I’m not sure if this is the way writing is supposed to work, or if my perfectionism is stopping me from releasing more of my work into the public.

Funny enough, the above paragraph involved absolutely no editing. What you’re reading is the first draft. Call this my way of battling my tendency to over-edit.