Editing is Better Than Writing, Fight Me!

Yeah! I said it. Editing is better than writing. Deal with it!

Seriously though, writing a first draft is like pulling teeth. Coaxing words from the lump of gray matter up there is torture. I’m sure most writers love the serendipitous fuzzy feeling they get from the act of creation, and I’ve gotten it occasionally as well, but, if I only wrote when I had those happy butterflies tickling my stomach lining, I would never get anything done. I would never finish a project before getting completely sick of it.

I treat first drafts like a job, because, if you’re serious about writing and want to get somewhere with it, you must treat it like work. You have to put your butt in a seat and pump out words on a regular basis. It is a race against your own tolerance. If you don’t finish the draft before you are fed up with the story, it will join every other unfinished masterpiece thrown in the bottom of the file box in the back of your closet.

But, once you finish slamming out a draft it’s all downhill. It’s all delicious scratch-made gravy made with the bacon drippings. It’s that good. From that point forward you have a big lump of malleable material to work with.

Let’s put it another way. Some sculptors/potters like to ‘source’ their own clay. This involves finding a riverbed with the source material and collecting it. Then they must get it back to the studio and wedge it out. Wedging is a process of mixing the clay via slamming it onto a table over and over. Us writers must pull our source material from nothing and slam it down onto the blank page until we finally finish a first draft and have something to work with.

Once a sculptor or potter has their material they begin the fun part: shaping the clay into something pleasing. For me, this is analogous to the editing process. I get to take my rough draft and smooth the edges, remove the impurities, and shape it into something pleasing.

So, which do you prefer? Writing or Editing. Argue with me in the comments down below. Change my mind, if you can.

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