4 Things to Keep in Mind While Editing Your Writing

I've mentioned in previous posts that I absolutely loathe editing. And it's true, I do. But I will admit that there have been days where I actually want to edit. I know--shocking, isn't it?
But it's true! There was actually a whole week once where all I wanted to do was edit Unperfected. And it was actually very surprising to me how much easier editing seemed to be when I had a positive attitude. That being said, today I thought I should share some important things to keep in mind when editing your writing; things that will hopefully make the editing process a little bit more positive. Some encouragement, if you will, for all of you who may be in the middle of editing their manuscript, just like I am.

1. Editing is a chance to make something good, great. You've finished your manuscript--yay! The words are down and the story is there, and now here is your chance to polish everything. This is your time to take the words that you've written and the story you created and love and make into something that shines. Don't view editing as a hard and daunting task, but rather as a fun and exciting time for you to continue working with the story you love and making it even better!
2. There are no rules! If you're an unpublished writer with no agents, editors, or deadlines, then that's right--there are no rules! This is your story, and you can do whatever you want to it. Don't like a chapter? Rewrite it. Hate a certain sentence? Delete it. Whatever you want to do, you can do it. The possibilities are endless!
3. Time limits are up to you. Some people like to set goals for themselves, such as editing their entire first draft in one month. While time limits might work for some people, they don't necessarily work for everyone. For me, time limits are nothing but stress. I like to have them, of course, and sometimes I can make myself follow them. But other times life gets in the way, I get thrown off track, and I miss my deadlines. Then I'm just stressed out and discouraged. But this doesn't have to be the case! Editing your book can take as much or as little time as you want. It's up to you! And once you accept that time limits are not required, you might find yourself feeling a lot less stressed about editing.
4. You don't have to stop writing when you edit. A lot of people find editing stressful because they think that you have to pick only one thing to devote your time to: writing, or editing. But that's just not true! Right now, I'm working on editing Altered while also writing my fantasy book. And I'll be honest, both of them have been very slow going lately. But that's okay. I'm still making progress on each. So don't trick yourself into thinking that you have to give up writing for a while in order to edit, You don't!

So there you go. Editing doesn't have to be horrible and annoying, so long as you keep a positive attitude about it. If you keep these four things in mind, your editing experience will be much less stressful.

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12