Editing Confessions

On Tuesday, I approached the subject of editing too much.  One of you admitted to former over-editing, another to under-editing.  Still another is friends with writers who edit overboard.

I think every writer has editing tendencies we don't speak much about.  We talk about editing, sure, but not the little things.  We dare not breathe a word about our quirks, hatreds or dirty little shames.  So... let's go!


I sometimes don't edit poems I write... at all!  It's rare, very, but some poems come out whole.  Even a prizewinning one.

The more I dislike a piece, or myself, the more I edit my current works into the ground. If a published piece is back on my desk, I'll rip it to shreds in my disdain and utter contempt for the drivel I spew.

I edit my fiction meticulously.  While a rare poem makes its way to me gorgeous, stories never do.  I edit even the smallest pieces repeatedly.

Once an editor starts making suggestions, my first instinct is to cave and change everything he/she wants me to.  Not so they publish me, but because they know better than me.  Of course, I do stand up for my writing if it's something that would destroy it. But not before my brief idiocy.

I neither love nor hate editing, it depends on the project.

I often edit poems as I write them so the true originals almost never exist.  And I don't keep consecutive drafts, either.  What's done is done!

My first edits are almost all done by hand, not computer.
Okay, those are some of my editing confessions.  What are yours?


  1. On the rare occasions when I write poetry I go for the spontaneous effect. What comes out for the most part is as it should be I think--as long as we have relatively good grammar and all. I might correct spelling if need be, or punctuation, but when I'm composing poetry I usually do so with meticulous intent sot that what ends up on the paper would almost be sacrilegious to mess with.

    In fact I write my prose in much the same way. I edit as I go--typically--and go back to make only minor adjustments of omitted words and such.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    A Faraway View

    1. A lot of people would condemn you for that. Nowadays, it's all about editing until your eyes water.
      And trust me, if you write a book and go through a traditional publishing house, they'll have major reconstruction for you to do. It almost never fails.

  2. I do not consider myself a writer! But I am learning to lose words I overuse. I am terrible with punctuation.

    1. We all have pet words, even the most talented among us.

      I'm not great with punctuation, either and I write in extreme passive voice which is a huge no-no.

  3. I edit in small sections--one chapter at a time. That's about all I can take of the pain of it!

    1. It's a great way to go about it, actually.
      I think I'd go bonkers attempting to write a novel, much less get one "publication-ready".